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Hundreds of TSA screeners call out sick at major airports amid shutdown

08 January, 2019, 03:10 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Passengers wait at a TSA airport security checkpoint

In a story published earlier Friday, CNN reported that TSA officers, who are now required to work without paychecks through the shutdown, have been calling out from work this week from at least four major airports.

DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton characterized CNN's report as "fake news".

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said the president told them Friday he's prepared for the shutdown to last months or years.

Kennedy International Airport, as many as 170 TSA employees have called out each day this week, Thomas tells CNN.

"Call outs began over the holiday period and have increased, but are causing minimal impact given there are 51,739 employees supporting the screening process", he said in a statement.

Hundreds of travelers were stuck in lines at LaGuardia Airport on January 6, 2019, amid increased callouts by TSA agents during the government shutdown. According to CNN, "hundreds of TSA screeners" have called in sick, including at four major airports. As of Saturday morning, the maximum TSA wait time was 36 minutes, and the maximum PreCheck wait time was 17 minutes, both within TSA standards of 45 and 15 minutes, respectively.

Some of those officers, who are living paycheck to paycheck, are parents who will be more distracted from their work.

Trump says he’s unconcerned about Apple’s China sales warning
Apple undoubtedly has some strong competitive advantages in the marketplace. "This is more political than it is Apple execution". In a letter to investors Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook explained that Apple is grappling with several issues, many related to China.

TSA spokesman Michael Bilello also tried to quash the rumors but inadvertently confirmed them, revealing that a full 5.5 percent of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's TSA force called in sick on Friday - significantly more than the typical 3.5 percent.

At airports across the country, TSA workers were reportedly calling out sick at higher rates than normal.

But union officials insisted that many of those calling out sick are just taking backup jobs so they can pay their bills; others can no longer afford child care and are forced to stay home with the kids. "But, I don't see anything that shows that it's coordinated or that its certainly having any impact on operations to date".

Screening wait times could be affected due to the number of absent agents, the statement said.

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders met Friday at the White House and are no closer to resolving the impasse. At Dallas-Fort Worth International, the wait time was slightly longer but still within TSA standards.

The Massachusetts Port Authority is monitoring the situation, said Jennifer Mehigan, an agency spokeswoman. For security reasons, the agency doesn't release specific staffing numbers.

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