A group of Transportation Security Administration officers will gather at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday to discuss the impact of the continuing partial federal government shutdown on the safety of travelers.
The 1 p.m. gathering is being organized by the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents TSA officers, who are working without pay during the shutdown.
The union has been calling on people to call their legislators to demand an end to the government shutdown, saying the lack of a paycheck for TSA officers means “a struggle to put gas in their cars to get to work, missed childcare payments, home payments, car payments and more.”
Reports have surfaced in recent days about higher-than-usual numbers of TSA officers calling in sick. TSA workers have missed their first paycheck due to the shutdown.
According to the agency, the TSA on Monday had a national rate of 6.8 percent unscheduled absences, compared to a 2.5 percent rate on the same day last year. But the TSA reported that 99.1 percent of airline passengers nationally waited less than 30 minutes in security lines, while 94.3 percent waited less than 15 minutes.
At LAX, the “maximum standard wait time” was reported to be 14 minutes Monday, according to the agency.
“TSA, airport authorities and airlines continue to work closely to ensure resources are optimized, efforts to consolidate operations are actively managed and screening lanes are properly staffed,” according to the TSA. “Some airports are exercising contingency plans that ensure and maintain effective security due to call-outs and anticipated high volume. Travelers should allow enough time to get through the airport and board their flight.”
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