The partial #governmentshutdown seems to be affecting a lot of us. In addition to potential delays in our tax refunds, you can also expect to see longer waits at the airports as hundreds of #TSA screeners are calling out sick, @CNN reports.
TSA employees belong to the group of federal workers that are required to work without pay during the shutdown. The mass call outs happening at at least four major airports could inevitably mean air travel is less secure, especially as the shutdown enters its second week with no clear end as #Trump has vowed to continue this until he gets funding for his proposed $5 billion border wall.
“This will definitely affect the flying public who we (are) sworn to protect,” said Hydrick Thomas, president of the national TSA employee union.
At #NewYork’s #JohnFKennedyInternationalAirport, as many as 170 TSA employees have called out each day this week. Officers from a morning shift were required to work extra hours to cover those gaps.
Call outs have increased by 200%-300% at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where typically 25 to 30 TSA employees call out from an average shift, according to TSA officials familiar with the situation.
Union officials stress that the absences are not part of an organized action, but they do believe the number of people calling out will likely increase.
“This problem of call outs is really going to explode over the next week or two when employees miss their first paycheck,” a union official at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport told CNN. “TSA officers are telling the union they will find another way to make money. That means calling out to work other jobs.”
Other affected airports include those in North Carolina airports, specifically Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, which have experienced 10% higher TSA call outs, according to Mac Johnson, the local union president. “That number will get worse as this drags on.”
The call outs are “creating a vulnerability” and screeners are “doing more with less,” Johnson added.
Two of the sources, who are federal officials, described the sick outs as protests of the paycheck delay. A union official, however, said that while some employees are upset about the pay, officers have said they are calling in sick for more practical reasons such as single parents who can no longer afford child care.
We’ll keep you up-to-date on this story #Roommates and news related to the shutdown.
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh