DFW AIRPORT (CBSDFW.COM) – Some of the TSA agents— tasked with keeping DFW Airport safe— aren’t showing up for work during the government shutdown.
At DFW Airport, there’s been a 200 to 300 percent increase in TSA agents calling in sick, according to the report.
“These lines are already bad enough so I can’t imagine this being any good,” said frequent traveler Adam Sanders.
Sanders flies out of DFW twice a week for work. He says security doesn’t worry him, but catching his flight on time does, especially since TSA officials predict the sick calls will increase the longer the government shut down goes on.
A spokeswoman for DFW Airport tells CBS 11 wait times haven’t been affected so far, but deferred to the TSA when asked what plans they have to limit impact on wait times.
TSA agents are considered essential employees and must report to work even though they aren’t getting paid during the shut down.
“It’s part of the job,” said Robert Allen. “It’s one of the things you take on when you get the job. I’d hate to be in that position, there’s no doubt. I work for myself and there’s a lot of times I don’t get paid and we have to plan for rainy days.”
The union for federal employees is rallying on Thursday, asking people to ask Congress end the shut down.
“Get them to do what the American people want and reopen the government and stop the damage to the American people, said Jeanne Schulze of the American Federation of Government Employees.
Federal employees will miss their first pay check this week.
The local union said some may get a partial pay check since they worked one week before the shut down.
Most federal workers are being told by their federal agencies to apply for unemployment or ask creditors and landlords to work with them.