MOON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – The full complement of TSA agents were on the job Wednesday at Pittsburgh International Airport, which is not what Nick Fisher encountered in Chicago on Sunday.
“Typically, they have four lanes for TSA Precheck and they were down to one agent so it added up to some long lines,” he said.
Despite the U.S. government shutdown the federal employees are still coming to work at Pittsburgh International.
Airport CEO Christina Cassotis says, “We are just so heartened at the commitment the TSA employees have shown here at the airport. I think it speaks to Pittsburgh and the folks working here, and we’re very grateful we’ve seen a minimal impact.”
The President of the TSA’s union, American Federation of Government Employees Local 332, Bill Reese says, “In Pittsburgh, our people are dedicated. They are not going to call off or miss work unless they physically have no other alternative but to make it to work due to lack of funds from not being paid.”
In other words, if they can’t afford the gas or bus fare to get to work.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says it goes way beyond transportation costs.
“The hardship on those folks who have to make their mortgage payments, rent payments, car payments, childcare, it’s going to be very difficult,” he said.
With the shutdown passing last night’s paycheck processing deadline, the agents on the job today know they will not get a paycheck on payday next Monday.
But they are on the job which impresses passengers like Andrea Lane, “I think they have amazing souls because I wouldn’t want to work if I’m not getting paid.”
Passenger Paula Wallace says, “I respect them for still coming but that has to be hard. It’s not like a super high paying job. I’m sure they really need that, it’s horrible.”
The passengers are hopeful the issue gets resolved before the TSA agents run out of money and are forced to stay home.
Lane says, “I can’t imagine what the line would be like if they were not here.”