Miami airport to close terminal as gov't shutdown continues

Employees with the Transportation Security Administration walk through Reagan National Airport in Washington. Reuters

There are reports of a good number of TSA employees calling out sick around the country, leading to long lines at security checkpoints at some airports.

The suit alleges the government is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay the workers at least minimum wage, as well as overtime, during the shutdown.

Saturday marked Day 22 of the shutdown over President Donald Trump's funding feud.

The stress is already taking a toll at some airports.

Miami International Airport is closing one of its terminals for three days due to a shortage of Transportation Security Administration screeners, airport spokesman Greg Chin said Thursday.

But Chin said the airport has been monitoring security checkpoints and they have not seen abnormal delays.

"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", Thomas said.

The National Association of Air Traffic Controllers (NACTA) meanwhile slammed the crisis, saying it was making hard conditions even worse for its 20,000 members. He said that other federal workers who inspect airlines and maintenance facilities and certify aircraft manufacturing are furloughed.

Willis said that the shutdown also is affecting transit and commuter rail, with grants being suspended to transit agencies.

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"They are truly stuck in the middle and they have to put up with the flyers that are maybe impatient and not getting paid for that, don't know if I'd put up with it", said Lisa Peck.

The longest shutdown in USA history started after President Donald Trump refused to back off a demand for $5.7 billion for his long-promised border wall.

Approximately 51,000 TSA officers are among the 800,000 government employees who are either working unpaid or on furlough and are set to miss their first full paychecks this week. The New York Times reported Friday that extreme financial hardship was causing TSA employees to either resign and look for other work or call in sick.

"TSA officers are among the lowest paid federal employees, with many living paycheck-to-paycheck", Thompson wrote.

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

Passengers at Philadelphia International Airport waited no more than 17 minutes at last check on Wednesday. "We're kind of out in uncharted water here".

The NATCA represents some 19,000 FAA employees, which includes 14,000 air traffic controllers.

"We take fatigue very seriously", said Devine.

While impacts to travelers as a result of airport security screening has so far been minimal, airports fear it could rapidly worsen, said Christopher Bidwell, a senior vice president at the Airports Council International-North America in Washington.

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