Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Lexington TSA agents 'supporting each other' during government shutdown

Employees with the Transportation Security Administration walk through Reagan National Airport in Washington. Reuters Employees with the Transportation Security Administration walk through Reagan National Airport in Washington. Reuters
Andrew Cummings | 14 January, 2019, 00:21

That same concourse will shut down around the same time Sunday and Monday.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske made the announcement on Twitter Friday night, saying employees who worked on December 22, the last day in the pay period, would receive compensation by Tuesday.

"There has been no degradation in security effectiveness and average wait times are well within TSA standards", Transportation Security Administration spokesman Michael Bilello said. Employees were not initially paid because the government shutdown began one day earlier. "We certainly have to be mindful of the potential for cascading operational impacts".

'I want to give them a chance to see if they can act responsibly, ' Trump said, calling the situation at the nation's southern border a 'humanitarian crisis'.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) filed a lawsuit on Friday, accusing the White House of depriving their members "of their hard-earned compensation without the requisite due process".

Miami International Airport's Concourse G closed at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday - 15 minutes earlier than planned - as the federal government remained shut down for a 22nd day, making it the longest shutdown in US history.

United Continental Holdings Inc. operates some flights at that concourse.

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"Stop holding us hostage, put us back to work, or get the hell out of the way", Texas AFL-CIO president Rick Levy said in front of the Environmental Protection Agency's regional headquarters. "We fear even more of the airport will close", she said.

In the meantime, federal employees won't be paid until the end of the shutdown. "My mom is actually having to pay the whole rent". One plaintiff, Amanda Fuchs, a controller from Clermont, Florida, is a single mother who also helps care for her brother, mother and stepfather.

Union officials say officers can't afford to work unpaid.

"It's hard to predict when that will happen", Gilbert said. But he said safety is an "ongoing mission", and every day the shutdown drags on is a cause for concern. The Senate already passed the measure, which now goes to Trump for his signature.

As "essential" federal employees, TSA agents have been showing up for work without payment for almost a month at one of the lowest paying and most thankless jobs in the airport industry, according to Money.

Airport authorities are expressing fear that the shutdown could soon worsen security screening. Prospective officers that TSA chooses to hire from the jobs event could start working as full- or part-time officers within two to four weeks, Wood said. "So are the TSA security officers".

However, a significant number have been calling out sick.

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