TSA May Close Airport Screening Lanes in US Shutdown Squeeze

Darnell Taylor
January 12, 2019

Federal workers would be typically paid on Friday.

Bilello said the TSA is working with stakeholders and industry partners to look at efforts to consolidate officers and operations.

"I can't imagine what the line would be like if they were not here", one passenger said.

On Friday over 800,000 federal workers experienced their first day without pay as a result of the government shutdown.

The security screeners and controllers are among workers declared essential to security and safety and have been ordered to work without pay.

Federal Aviation Administration employees in the air traffic control tower are contracted, and will not experience pay issues, but controllers in the nearby Wilmington control tower will continue to work without pay along with TSA employees.

With more federal security screeners refusing to work without pay, Miami International Airport plans to cut off access to one of its terminals over the weekend in order to send TSA workers to busier checkpoints, a spokesman said Thursday night. That's raising concerns that TSA will see even more employees calling in sick and dropping shifts as they pursue other options for income if the shutdown continues.

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The named plaintiffs in the suit include single mom Amanda Fuchs, who says that without her paycheck, she can't afford needed physical therapy and her family won't be able to attend her recently deceased grandmother's funeral.

TSA workers and air traffic controllers did not get paid on Friday, but they still showed up for work at Oakland International Airport.

Carl said ongoing investigations have been put on hold by the shutdown.

Several federal workers are now speaking out about working without pay or being furloughed in their job and an uncertain future.

Air traffic controllers, pilots and other key cogs of the nation's aviation sector on Thursday demanded an end to the partial government shutdown, rallying outside the Capitol to highlight what they say is a growing danger from not reaching a resolution. The percentage of TSA workers who called in sick on Thursday was 5.1 percent, compared to a 3.3 percent unscheduled absence rate on the same day previous year, TSA spokesman Michael Bilello said in a Tweet. TSA said only about 220,000 travelers waited at least 15 minutes at checkpoints, while 0.2 percent - fewer than 5,000 - waited at least 30 minutes.

Chin told The Miami Herald that some passengers have complained about longer waits, but there've been no abnormal security delays. "We thank TSA officers for their resilience and diligence, and we thank industry and the public for their continued acts of kindness and support".

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