One in ten TSA employees are calling in sick from work, unable or unwilling to continue doing their jobs without pay as the government shutdown approaches the one month mark. “Unscheduled absences” are now at 10 percent nationwide across the TSA, according to the agency’s most recent statement reported by CNN. In other words, the unpaid workers staffing airports are pretty fed up with this shit.
Back in the beginning of January, mere weeks into the government shutdown that will be a full month old tomorrow, the TSA stubbornly insisted that everything was fine, that employees calling in sick were not affecting its work.
At the time, DHS spokesperson Tyler Houlton petulantly insisted that reporting on TSA sick-outs affecting airport security was “fake news.”
The agency is... not doing that now, as it can no longer deny that the huge rate of unplanned absences is making things more difficult.
Wild. Looks like when you don’t pay people, they don’t have much of an incentive to come to work! If you have to fly anytime in the next few weeks (months? years?) while the shutdown continues, it may be tempting to get pissed at the long lines through security, but consider this: TSA airport screeners only make an average of $41,000 a year, and thus far, the New York Times reports that the shutdown has cost them an average of $2,700 in missed wages thus far. That’s a lot of money for someone only making $41k a year! When the shutdown ends, those employees will likely receive back-pay for the days they lost, but that just doesn’t cut it when the shutdown has left hundreds of thousands of people in dire situations for nearly a month.