Air traffic controllers in the US are working without pay because of the government shutdown—but thanks to their counterparts north of the border, many of them aren't working without pizza. Canadian air traffic controllers, who regularly communicate with American controllers in neighboring sectors, have been organizing the delivery of hundreds of pizzas to US units as a gesture of solidarity, CNN reports. Peter Duffey, president of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, says the idea started with units along the border and spread. He says at least 49 American units have now been treated to pizza by their Canadian colleagues.
"In the big scheme of things, sending some pizzas to people that are missing paychecks is a small gesture," Duffey tells the CBC, "but the message that it sends them is a big gesture." He says he's proud of association members, who are "just jumping on board this like crazy." Doug Church, deputy director of public affairs with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, says it is a gesture much appreciated by the 14,000 air traffic controllers working without pay. "It's just a really good shot in the arm of positive energy and positive emotion to know that, 'Hey they've got our back,'" he says. (Read more shutdown stories.)