Economy

Security staff go sick during U.S. shutdown

Security staff go sick during U.S. shutdown

And with fewer TSA workers at airports, it's likely that security will have to become more lax. They are often used during major events like the Super Bowl or in the wake of natural disasters when hometown TSA employees are unable make it to work.

For now, we're left with the bitter irony that a government shutdown caused by a supposedly attempt to enforce better border security measures is nearly certainly making our country unsafer. Airport security, for instance, will likely be significantly hindered.

CNN first reported the letter. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois told reporters at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

The email was written Monday by Martin Elam, a deputy federal security director, to all TSA staff at the Palm Springs airport and mentioned "excessive unscheduled absences recently experienced at PSP", and threatened disciplinary action.

Your unauthorized unscheduled absence will be coded by payroll as absent without leave (AWOL).

"TSA is closely monitoring the situation, " the agency statement said. "I thought they were just going to have one or two [screening lanes] closed, but to my surprise it was all opened", said Cataldo.

Apple Just Trolled Amazon And Google And It's Brilliant
That's especially true for Monday, Jan. 6: "Press day" is comprised of at least a dozen press conferences, starting at 8 a.m. And while Sony never makes any major game-related announcements at CES , PlayStation will likely have some presence.

"This will definitely affect the flying public who we [are] sworn to protect", Hydrick Thomas, president of the national TSA employee union, told CNN.

The impacts could compound the longer the shutdown lasts, union officials say. Typically, about 25 to 30 employees call out on an average shift.

"The loss of 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", Thomas said in a statement on Monday. TSA agents reportedly have been calling in sick in large numbers during the shutdown in protest of withheld pay.

Though the scores of workers calling in sick aren't actually ill, their coordinated effort has been branded "blue flu", owing to the color of officers' uniforms. The airport issued an ATC alert for heightened awareness because of the concerns over staffing levels.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, has asked TSA for additional information on the call outs and whether it has a "contingency plan to address mass callouts or resignations among its workforce".

And really, these officers have no choice but to do their jobs as they are considered "essential" government employees, which means they are expected to show up regardless of a shutdown.


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