Government Shutdown: TSA Union Warns of "Massive Security Risk"

Government Shutdown: TSA Union Warns of

Transportation Security Administration workers who worked through the partial government shutdown during the holidays will receive one day's worth of pay, in addition to a $500 bonus.

Security wait times at O'Hare International and Midway airports are at 15 minutes or less, the city's Aviation Department said.

On Thursday, Miami International Airport announced it will close a terminal early for three days due to an increase in TSA screeners not reporting for work, CNN reported.

TSA screeners are among the federal employees who have been working unpaid since the U.S. government shutdown began on December 22. Others around the country were lower, and the impact to air travelers has so far been minimal.

Joshua Paders, a 31-year-old who attended the event, said he would still take a TSA position if he's hired and the government remains shut down and he wouldn't be getting a paycheck right away.

With no end in sight for the partial federal government shut down, TSA employees missed their first paycheck on Friday.

Hoss says his wife is also a tower controller and they are anxious about paying their bills.

According to the AFGE, the TSA once had a workforce of around 47,000 dealing with 740 million passengers a year, but now has 44,000 workers servicing 851 million passengers a year.

Terminal G is one of the airport's six terminals.

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The agency acknowledged that unscheduled absences of the 51,000 TSA officers have been on the rise, but said "security standards remain uncompromised at our nation's airports".

"The loss of (TSA) officers, while we're already shorthanded, will create a massive security risk for American travelers since we don't have enough trainees in the pipeline or the ability to process new hires", American Federation of Government Employees TSA Council President Hydrick Thomas said.

Departing passengers should arrive at the airport two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an worldwide flight to allow sufficient time for parking, airline check-in and screening at the security checkpoint.

"It is stressful, but we're coming together trying to support each other", Smith said. The other cases were brought by unions that represent tens of thousands of border patrol and immigration agents, guards at federal prisons, and other workers.

The National Association of Air Traffic Controllers (NACTA) meanwhile slammed the crisis, saying it was making hard conditions even worse for its 20,000 members.

Flights that usually leave from that terminal will use gates elsewhere in the airport. There is no indication that is happening yet. "They're erring on the side of caution".

"I do feel that it's very unfair", Pierce said.

TSA routinely opens and closes screening lanes as volume at airports rises and falls, Bilello said.