Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Miami airport to close terminal as gov't shutdown continues

TSA Workers Are Now Quitting Because of the Government Shutdown Union SaysMore TSA Workers Are Now Quitting Because of the Government Shutdown Union SaysMore
Priscilla Morrison | 12 January, 2019, 04:59

A almost equal number of federal workers are not deemed "essential" and have been placed on temporary leave, and their absence is affecting some functions ranging from FAA inspections of aircraft to CBP interviews with applicants for Global Entry status. Because of lags in pay cycles, TSA workers are set to miss their first paycheck on Friday.

Bilello said on Twitter that the TSA is working with "stakeholders and industry partners to explore efforts to consolidate officers and operations". For example, Alaska Airlines has warned that without FAA officials to sign off, the new Paine Field Airport near Seattle may not be able to open as promised on February 11.

Air traffic controllers, pilots and other key cogs of the nation's aviation sector on Thursday demanded an end to the partial government shutdown, rallying outside the Capitol to highlight what they say is a growing danger from not reaching a resolution. "We are, though, very much monitoring checkpoints, and we're in close contact with the federal authorities and the airlines", said Cynthia Vega, a spokeswoman for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Even though she's not getting paid, she's showing up to work.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association named Trump and several FAA officials as defendants and claimed the administration is "depriving (air traffic controllers) of their hard-earned compensation without the "requisite due process". Federal screeners are calling in sick at double the normal rate for Miami, and TSA managers aren't confident they will have enough workers to operate all 11 checkpoints at normal hours throughout the airport, said MIA spokesman Greg Chin.

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. The agency is focusing on ensuring its resources are devoted to ensure that the system remains safe, it said in a statement.

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Those workers on Friday will get their first $0.00 pay stub, stoking worries that the situation could soon become untenable. The Senate already passed the measure, which now goes to Trump for his signature.

Miami International Airport is closing a terminal this weekend because security screeners have been calling in sick at twice the airport's normal rate as the federal government shutdown stretches toward a fourth week.

"As the current lapse in funding persists, TSA officers continue to perform with the utmost professionalism and dedication", Bilello said.

TSA has brought on about 500 new officers since the shutdown with 300 more expected to start later this month.

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