Government shutdown is affecting airport operations, slowing funding for CTA projects

TSA officers at Logan Airport

TSA officers at Logan Airport

"Some of them have already quit and many are considering quitting the federal workforce because of this shutdown", AFGE TSA Council president Hydrick Thomas said in a statement on the AFGE website.

Bilello said the TSA is working with stakeholders and industry partners to look at efforts to consolidate officers and operations. Chin said an increase in TSA employees not reporting to work would prompt the airport to close a security checkpoint at terminals that have multiple entry points, such as Concourse J or Concourse D.

Angel Coleman works at the Detroit IRS office and says, "It's tax season and people are not going to get their tax returns".

"Despite providing essential government services, TSA officers are among the lowest paid Federal employees, with many living paycheck-to-paycheck", Representative Bernie Thompson, the new Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security wrote in a recent letter to the TSA leadership.

President Donald Trump has demanded Congress approve $5 billion for a wall on the southern border as part of the legislative package needed to fund parts of the government for another year.

About 10,000 air traffic controllers under the Federal Aviation Administration continue to work without pay. 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.

"As the lines slow down and the crowds grow larger, it puts more and more passengers at risk from an attack", Price said.

FDA inspections have stopped, thanks to government shutdown
Other consumer advocacy groups have argued that postponing the FDA inspections will put the American food supply at risk. In a statement, the agency said it will continue operations as permitted by law.

As the government shutdown continues to stretch on, Pittsburgh International Airport has made a decision to provide an act of kindness to the TSA agents working without pay right now. While furloughed federal workers have been given back pay in previous shutdowns, there is no guarantee that will happen this time.

"They are truly stuck in the middle and they have to put up with the flyers that are maybe impatient and not getting paid for that, don't know if I'd put up with it", said Lisa Peck.

"Agents had been calling in sick at double the normal rate this week, leaving their supervisors anxious that they will not have enough agents to operate all of the airport's 11 security checkpoints", the report stated.

Airport officials say they will be providing free lunches to the 200 federal workers at Pittsburgh International today, and on future Fridays.

The suit alleges the government is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay the workers at least minimum wage, as well as overtime, during the shutdown.

Chin said some passengers have complained about longer waits since the shutdown, but says there have been no abnormal security delays.

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