REPORT: TSA union says workers threatening to quit over shutdown, TSA responds

JANUARY 9, 2019

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A union president for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers on Wednesday said some TSA agents have quit their jobs amid the partial government shutdown while many others “are considering quitting.”

Hydrick Thomas, the TSA council president for the American Federation of Government Employees, added in a statement that the reduction in workers would “create a massive security risk for American travelers.”

The article goes on to state the following:

“Every day I’m getting calls from my members about their extreme financial hardships and need for a paycheck. Some of them have already quit and many are considering quitting the federal workforce because of this shutdown,” Thomas said.

“The loss of officers, while we’re already shorthanded, will create a massive security risk for American travelers since we don’t have enough trainees in the pipeline or the ability to process new hires,” he added.

TSA Assistant Administration Bilello pushed back on reports that the TSA was crumbling, tweeting, “Regarding unscheduled absences: Yesterday, January 8, 2019, TSA experienced a rate of 5 percent compared to a 3.9 percent unscheduled absence rate one year ago on January 8, 2018.”

In additional tweets, Bilello stated:

As the current lapse in funding continues, we want to echoe the sentiments of industry, the traveling public and TSA leadership who are both proud of and thankful for the more than 51,000 officers across the country who remain focused on the mission.

“Not on our watch” means we are united together, and value the important work necessary to secure the nation’s transportation systems. #NotOnOurWatch

He slammed the media for painting a “dismal and chaotic picture,” further tweeting:

And for the airport that “some media outlets” painted a dismal & chaotic picture of, at Palm Springs Airport, standard screening passengers waited an average of less than 4 minutes yesterday, and TSA Pre✓® passengers waited an average of less than 2 minutes. #GovernmentShutdown

Security standards will NOT and have NOT been compromised. Reports thereof are misleading, agenda-driven and only embolden the adversary. #NotOnOurWatch

TSA’s data for today does not indicate a “spike” in resignations from its officers. This is not accurate.

TSA data shows approximately a 1 percentage point uptick in call-out rates compared to this time last year. This statistic does not comport with the unofficial and anecdotal narrative others have been providing to media outlets.

TSA continues to manage the security it provides at checkpoints across the country. There has been no degradation in security effectiveness and average wait times are well within TSA standards. #NotOnOurWatch

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1 Comment

  1. Nar January 9th, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I don’t buy this. The banks of these people will loan them interest free loans up to the amounts of there pay checks. Their pay will be retro when the government opens back up and they then can repay these interest free loans. Cop out or a democratic story.


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