Florida Airport Sets Up Food Bank For Unpaid TSA Agents

Florida Airport Sets Up Food Bank For Unpaid TSA Agents

Unscheduled absences among federal airport security screeners jumped on Sunday (Jan 13) as a partial government shutdown that has frozen pay checks moved into its 23rd day.

No-shows among screeners across the nation soared Monday morning, with a national rate of 7.6 unscheduled absences Monday morning, a Transportation Security Administration spokesman said. That is more than double the 3.2 percent rate experienced a year ago.

A passenger made it through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint with a gun on January 2, boarding a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and flying to Tokyo, authorities said Sunday.

Major airports in cities such as Atlanta and Houston "are exercising their contingency plans to uphold aviation security standards".

Travellers wait near a closed down terminal at the Miami International Airport.

A traveler carrying a firearm boarded a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and flew to Tokyo Narita International Airport on January 3, according to a statement from the Transportation Security Administration.

Hundreds of airport screeners in the USA are working without regular pay amid the government shutdown. "Our folks are coming to work and getting the job done, and I couldn't be more proud of them".

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TSA officers are not allowed to accept gifts from companies or passengers but can accept donations like meals from the airport.

Although the security breach occurred two weeks into the government shut down amid reports that TSA agents have been calling in sick while they are required to work without receiving pay, the agency says the incident was unrelated.

Under guidelines from the federal Office of Personnel Management, paid time off is canceled for employees, including the airport screeners, who are exempt from certain federal labor laws. He said he was asking local food banks if they can help the workers.

"Financially, [government leaders] don't really know what exactly we're going through aside from this alone." said Randall Baker, who has been a TSA employee for nine years.

"While I realize this is not what you are owed for your hard work during pay period 26 and what you deserve, I hope these actions alleviate some of the financial hardship many of you are facing", wrote Pekoske.

TSA administrator David Pekoske said on Friday via Twitter that the agency's screening officers will receive a $500 bonus.

The ongoing partial government shutdown, now in its fourth week, is starting to make more of an impact on air travel across the country.

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