BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The union that represents TSA workers warns that the current government shutdown has already cost the agency part of its workforce--and if the shutdown continues and workers don't get paid, more workers will likely quit.
Nearly 800,000 federal workers are in jeopardy of going unpaid Friday, and 800 of those workers make their living in Boston at Logan Airport. TSA agents are considered essential employees, and are thus expected to still show up for work each day.
Mike Gayzadian, Acting President of the American Federation of Government Employees, told WBZ-TV the prospect of not getting paid has him and his coworkers frustrated and feeling like they're trapped in the middle of beltway politics.
"It's profoundly unfair and almost disrespectful to put us in the middle of this debate over border security when we have absolutely nothing to do with it," Gayzadian said.
Twenty days into the shutdown, the TSA reports that wait times at security lines haven't been impacted as nearly 95 percent of all air travellers have experienced delays of 15 minutes or less. One frequent flyer, Lisa Peck, told WBZ-TV this made her sympathetic to TSA employees.
"They are truly stuck in the middle, and they have to put up with flyers that maybe are impatient?" Peck said. "Not getting paid for that, I don't know if I would put up with it."
"I get nervous on flights, and having them there really makes me feel more comfortable," another traveler said.
WBZ NewsRadio's Chris Fama (@cfama_wbz) reports