Miami Airport Closes Terminal as TSA Workers Refuse to Work Without Pay

TSA officer Mike Gayzagian

TSA officer Mike Gayzagian

TSA screeners are among the federal employees who have been working unpaid since the USA government shutdown began on December 22. This week, they missed their first full paychecks since the shutdown. "But if aspects of the shutdown are beginning to hinder the air travel process, political leaders need to understand that there will be immediate and measurable harm to the US economy and jobs - and those concerns are non-partisan", he said.

The stress is already taking a toll at some airports. Airport officials said they plan to do the same on Sunday and Monday out of concerns they wouldn't have enough employees to operate all the security checkpoints.

In past shutdowns, workers who received pay for the period of the shutdown received it as backpay once the government was reopened.

"The government always pays its bills", he said, "and they will furlough after this government-shutdown drama is over".

TSA officers at Logan Airport
TSA officers at Logan Airport

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. More than 1,500 federal workers across the state are affected by the government shutdown.

Steele said the delay is not sustainable, and the agency hopes to see a resolution soon.

Funding to keep the government open ran out when Congress couldn't come to an agreement on President Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the southern border.

The lawsuit, which names President Trump, the chief of the Federal Aviation Administration and other administration officials, says failure to pay controllers as scheduled or compensate them for overtime is unconstitutional because it deprives them of lawful property - namely, work they've already performed. Federal employees are not permitted to strike by law.

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Lines at the nation's airports have been normal, Bilello said.

"Nationwide, TSA screened 1.96 million passengers yesterday".

On this side of the border, YVR spokeswoman Andrea Pham said all operations at Vancouver International Airport were "normal" on Saturday, but recommended passengers check their flight status before heading for the airport. "We're kind of out in uncharted water here". "We have rules as to how many hours you can work in a day, how many hours have to be between shifts".

NATCA also moved for a court order requiring the government to restore air traffic controllers' pay while the lawsuit is pending.

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"We are allocating FAA resources based on risk assessment to meet all safety critical functions", Martin said.

"The system is safe and will continue to be safe".

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