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Federal workers speak about shutdown with members of Congress at Metro Airport

12 January 2019

With hundreds of TSA agents calling in sick at airports across the country due to the ongoing government shutdown, at least one airport is seeing a tangible impact: Miami International Airport.

Airports Council International-North America, which represents United States airports, urged Mr Trump and congressional leaders in a letter to quickly reopen the government.

U.S. airport security workers and air traffic controllers working without pay have warned that security and safety could be compromised if a government shutdown continues beyond today, when some workers will miss their first pay cheques. "If the staffing shortage gets worse, we will see reduced capacity in the national airspace system, meaning more flight delays", he said.

The security screeners and controllers are among workers declared essential to security and safety and have been ordered to work without pay. However, the controller staffing was already at a 30-year low and support workers have been furloughed, putting more pressure on those who remain on the job and threatening to cause flight delays, she said. Shuker asked. "You figure the government would be a model employee right, they should probably be the best, they should probably set the example ー but there they are, asking people to come in and not get paid, or people are sitting at home and not able to work". The House on Friday passed legislation that would give federal workers back pay.

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An FAA spokesman said earlier this week that the agency is recalling inspectors and focusing resources on overseeing airline operations.

Those workers on Friday will get their first $0.00 pay stub, stoking worries that the situation could soon become untenable.

According to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), more than 50,000 TSA officers and staff will most likely miss another paycheck during this shutdown. Airports in San Francisco and Kansas City already do that, with approval from the Transportation Department.

The air traffic controllers are also organizing a leafleting effort appealing directly to passengers at airports across the country, including in Dallas Atlanta, Seattle and Portland, Ore., as well as at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, a union official said.

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Some speaking out are TSA Agents working at Metro Airport where this round table was held.

Mike Boyd, a consultant to airports, said TSA leaders will do what they can to streamline the screening process, which he called "pretty much of a veneer" even before the government shutdown.

TSA spokesman Jim Gregory said officials are managing.

Many TSA agents began calling in sick in record numbers in lieu of the government shutdown gouging their paychecks.

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Federal workers speak about shutdown with members of Congress at Metro Airport