TSA workers are reportedly living in their cars and not taking medicine because they can't afford it

Joe Raedle/GettyTransportation Security Administration employees have been required to work without pay during the federal government shutdown.
  • Transportation Security Administration employees are feeling the strain of a federal government shutdown that has reached its 34th day.
  • A TSA worker from Kona, Hawaii, has begun living in his van six days a week because he can no longer afford to commute to and from his home, Hawaii News Now reported.
  • Other TSA workers are reportedly receiving eviction notices, delaying doctor appointments, and living without prescriptions as the co-pays become prohibitively expensive.
  • Over 800,000 furloughed federal workers will miss their second consecutive paycheck if the shutdown continues into Friday.

Transportation Security Administration employees are feeling the strain of a federal government shutdown that has reached its 34th day.

A TSA worker from Kona, Hawaii, has begun living in his van six days a week – and spending one day at home with his family – because he can no longer afford to commute to and from his home,Hawaii News Now reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, other TSA workers are receiving eviction notices, delaying doctor appointments, and living without prescriptions as the co-pays become prohibitively expensive.


Read more:
Unpaid TSA workers are ‘trying not to panic’ as bills stack up

Some TSA workers at Hawaii airports have begun to resign, though the number of resignations is unclear, Hawaii News Now reported.

The TSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the number of workers who have resigned during the government shutdown.

“When you look at how much a screener is getting paid compared to other federal agencies, you can see why the screeners in particular are in the situation they’re in. They’re living paycheck-to-paycheck,” Joshua Christie, the American Federation of Government Employees’ chief union steward, told Hawaii News Now.

TSA employees have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown, which began on December 22. They will be eligible to receive back pay once the shutdown ends.

But since January 14, the TSA has reported higher rates of unplanned absences among its employees than during the same period in 2018.

Some airports, like Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Miami International Airport, have had to close security checkpoints because of worker shortages, leading to unusually long lines.

Over 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed, or temporarily laid off, will miss their second consecutive paycheck if the shutdown continues into Friday. During the shutdown, TSA has given workers a $US500 bonus and maintained their transit-and-parking benefits.

If you’ve worked for TSA and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at [email protected]

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