Miami airport terminal closing early as screeners call in sick

TSA officers at Logan Airport

TSA officers at Logan Airport

"It's demoralizing, because you go to work, and you expect pay for hard work and you wake up and your bank account is empty", Keys said. Some have resorted to selling their possessions or posting appeals on online fundraising sites to help pay their bills.

About 800,000 federal workers, who have been forced to go on unpaid leave or work without pay since December 22 when the shutdown started, will have to miss a paycheck on Friday, which was supposed to be payday.

The shutdown is hitting US air traffic controllers particularly hard because their numbers are already at a 30-year low, according to NATCA.

Screeners start around $24,000 a year, and most earn between $26,000 and $35,000, according to TSA.

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A table will be set up on the landside ticketing level at 10 a.m. where airport staff will distribute some of the lunches. "Even though the workers are eligible to receive back pay once the shutdown is over, many live paycheck to paycheck".

Chin says Terminal G will close at 1 p.m. Saturday, reopen for flights Sunday morning and close again at 1 p.m. that day.

The line to get through the TSA checkpoint periodically snakes out to the street at the inter island terminal of the Daniel K inouye Airport. Its employees, as well as CBP (Customers and Border Protection) personnel, are considered as essential to security and work without pay at the moment. It also notes violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), for not paying at least the minimum wage to air traffic controllers and other members of the association who should have continued their functions during the partial closure. "If the staffing shortage gets worse, we will see reduced capacity in the National Airspace System, meaning more flight delays", Rinaldi said. "They're erring on the side of caution". There are 51,000 airport security officers, and he said the agency has brought on hundreds of new ones.

Asked about the plight of those going without pay, the president shifted the focus, saying he felt badly "for people that have family members that have been killed" by criminals who came over the border.

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Robinson said, despite the challenges, TSA officers will continue to work to keep travelers safe.

There have been scattered complaints about long lines, but for the most part, travelers say they aren't seeing an impact.

Some airports are trying to help the unpaid federal employees.

The federal government has sovereign immunity to lawsuits, however exceptions to that include salaries to government employees.

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Pittsburgh International Airport delivered lunches to TSA workers and air traffic controllers on Friday and plans to do it every Friday until the shutdown ends.

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