Seattle's TSA officers on verge of quitting over lack of pay

'Blue Flu': Hundreds Of Unpaid TSA Officials Call Out Sick At Major Airports

'Blue Flu': Hundreds Of Unpaid TSA Officials Call Out Sick At Major Airports

One called it the "blue flu", a reference to the blue shirts worn by transportation security officers who screen passengers and baggage at airport security checkpoints. That's pretty much what hundreds of TSA agents are saying after they were assigned to work shifts despite not being paid during the partial government shut down.

Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham airports in North Carolina had a 10 percent increase in absences according to union president Mac Johnson, and numbers across the country were predicted to get worse when employees notice the difference on payday.

'Call outs began over the Holiday period and have increased, but are causing minimal impact given there are 51,739 employees supporting the screening process, ' the tweet said.

US Transportation Security Administration employees are calling in sick in protest over being forced to work without pay during the government shutdown that shows no signs of ending after 14 days.

As of Saturday morning, the maximum TSA wait time was 36 minutes, and the maximum PreCheck wait time was 17 minutes, both within TSA standards of 45 and 15 minutes, respectively.

So far, he said, his colleagues are only calling out sick "here and there".

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Fellow TSA agents, who are also going without pay, worked extra hours to cover the staffing gap, CNN reported.

Screening wait times could be affected due to the number of absent agents, the statement said.

"TSA is closely monitoring the situation", the agency statement said.

As Slate reports, more than 150 TSA employees called out sick on Friday at Kennedy International Airport in NY, while Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport saw the number of TSA officers who called out sick skyrocket by 200 to 300 percent. Union officials don't believe workers are making it a class action issue but rather just want to be paid for their work. The New York Times and CNN report that the number of screeners calling in sick is unusually high at some big airports, including Dallas Fort-Worth and Kennedy in New York.

TSA previously has said officers will eventually be compensated. Negotiations are at an impasse over Trump's demands for $5.6 billion to fund a wall at the U.S. -Mexico border.

CNN said the mass call outs could lead to less secure air travel as the shutdown continues into its second week with no clear end in sight. The AFGE's president told the network that "This will definitely affect the flying public who we [are] sworn to protect". "Security effectiveness will not be compromised".

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