Absences among U.S. airport screeners jump as shutdown drags on


FILE PHOTO: An employee with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checks the documents of a traveler at Reagan National Airport in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Unscheduled absences among federal airport security screeners jumped on Sunday as a partial government shutdown that has frozen pay checks moved into its 23rd day.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency responsible for airport security screening, said unscheduled absences among its employees rose to 7.7 percent from 5.6 percent on Saturday. The rate is more than double the 3.2 percent rate experienced a year ago.

The TSA said in a statement on Sunday that security had not been compromised at U.S. airports.

The screeners are among the lowest-paid federal employees. While they will be paid once the shutdown ends, many say they will struggle to pay bills in the meantime. [nL1N1ZB0Z2]

Miami International Airport said it planned to reopen Concourse G on Monday. The concourse was closed for part of the weekend because not enough TSA workers were present to staff the security checkpoint.

Reporting by David Shephardson; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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