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

Irving Hamilton
January 12, 2019

With no end for the partial government shutdown in sight, Lexington TSA workers are wondering when they'll see their next paycheck.

Airport screeners start around $24,000 and most earn between $26,000 and $35,000 a year, according to TSA. He said that other federal workers who inspect airlines and maintenance facilities and certify aircraft manufacturing are furloughed.

The AFGE Local 554 held a rally in front of the Domestic North Terminal of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Thursday afternoon.

Starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Concourse G will close and about a dozen departing flights will be moved to nearby terminals.

Federal workers would be typically paid on Friday.

Among other things, the impasse has prompted TSA's union to file a lawsuit demanding that their members be paid, and union officials have raised the specter of screeners walking off the job permanently if they don't get relief.

"It's profoundly unfair and nearly disrespectful to put us in the middle of this debate over border security when we have absolutely nothing to do with it", said Gayzagian.

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"Our inspectors are the oversight, they are the regulatory side of the house for the FAA", said Mike Perrone, president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union. But she said the plan is short-term and might end if more concourses lose checkpoints. Airports in San Francisco and Kansas City already do that, with approval from the Transportation Department.

Lines at the nation's airports have been normal, Bilello said.

In a wave of what one federal official has dubbed as the "blue flu" - a nod to the blue shirts worn by TSA officers - hundreds of TSA screeners at at least four major airports have called out from their shifts since the shutdown began in December.

The Miami airport, which has intensified the debate over TSA with its concourse closure, is not yet considering privatizing its passenger-screening operation, a spokesman said.

In 2016 - when TSA was understaffed at many airports, creating lines long enough to make many travelers miss their flights - some airports explored hiring contractors or using airport or airline employees to help TSA agents with tasks such as handling bins at checkpoints.

Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, which represents 32 unions that cover transportation workers, said he thinks the nation's transportation system is now safe and would not recommend that people avoid flying.

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