Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Economy | By

TSA union warns shutdown could lead to 'massive' airport security risk

TSA union warns shutdown could lead to 'massive' airport security risk

"The Deputy FSD who is referenced in the email obtained by CNN was simply expressing that all screening employees must report to work during the current lapse in appropriations as required by federal rules".

Airline pilots have appealed to President Trump to end the partial United States government shutdown as hundreds of security screening staff call in sick rather than work without pay. And with fewer TSA workers at airports, it's likely that security will have to become more lax.

But Gregory stressed the country's airports and airlines would not be imperiled by any hit to security operations, citing strict standards and a program that sends screeners and managers from airports under less stressful circumstances to any airport needing backup.

A total of 160 TSA screeners are based in Kansas, with a majority at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport.

Union officials have warned the shutdown places TSA officers in a hard position, as they are not receiving paychecks to cover the costs of working, such as commuting and childcare.

A Transportation Security Agency agent checks the identification of travelers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Jan. 7, 2019.


But air travelers could see growing airport security lines if lawmakers do not come to an agreement over the border wall, which has majorly impacted the government shutdown. The usual number of sick TSA workers calling in at the airport is 3.3 percent, according to agency spokesman Michael Bilelo.

Due to excessive unscheduled absences recently experienced at PSP (Palm Springs International airport) that has adversely impacted security operations, if you have an unscheduled absence, you will NOT be placed in an intermittent furlough status.

"Your unauthorized unscheduled absence will be coded by payroll as absent without leave (AWOL)", Elam wrote.

As the partial government shutdown drags into its third week, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are at risk of being unpaid - which includes the nation's airport security officers. Why are we doing this? If things get dire, it's unclear how the agency will keep up. They are scheduled to miss their first paycheck this Friday unless TSA secures congressional funding.

As of 2016, TSA was 6,000 officers below its 2011 peak. "I'm not going to be able to pay my mortgage". Some are seeking temporary employment - with more reliable pay dates - to make ends meet, union officials said.

He added, "They just want a roof over their head, and heat in the winter, and food on their table. they want to provide for their families".

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