Percentage of TSA Agents Who Are Staying Home From Work During the Shutdown Just Hit a Disturbing New High, and Can You Honestly Blame Them?
As President Donald Trump refuses to break course from his demands for a wall at the southern border, the government shutdown has continued to drag on, becoming the longest shutdown in American history.
Now, federal employees continuing to work without pay are rightly getting fed up. Among them? TSA agents.
These include 47,000 Transportation Security Officers tasked with the vital job of screening commercial passengers for security risks and possibly dangerous contraband.
But as more and more agents work without pay, a proportionate amount aren't showing up to work or have been forced to quit in an effort to find other means to provide for their families.
The situation isn't getting better. In fact, it's getting worse. The TSA has reported a record number of unscheduled absences on Saturday: 10 percent. It's a 7 point jump from the 3% on the same day last year.
Americans, however, can't blame them.
@mattdpearce That’s what happens when you don’t pay people. We fought a war over this.— Josh Insley (@Josh Insley) 1548082420.0
@mattdpearce Stopped showing up to volunteer, you mean?— tj usiyan (@tj usiyan) 1548090861.0
@thehill How these unpaid, suffering workers continue to show up is beyond me.— Teresa Harris (@Teresa Harris) 1548090783.0
But there are a few people they're blaming.
@thehill Anyone who voted for trump, suck it up. It's your fault— spooker (@spooker) 1548092026.0
@mattdpearce Where's Mitch McPuppet's WIFE, Sec. of Transportation @SecElaineChao? Why is she silent? TSA employees… https://t.co/hN6ywtmVzg— Carla Norton (@Carla Norton) 1548088440.0
@thehill @realDonaldTrump the situation is becoming more and more dangerous everyday..won’t be long before there’s… https://t.co/flzexAQRQN— haleydru (@haleydru) 1548090743.0
For some, the TSA agents have a very specific power.
Though responsibility for the government's ability to function shouldn't rest in the hands of unelected employees, many are urging TSA agents to go on strike, believing that the mass inconvenience to travelers would force lawmakers to reopen the government.
@thehill We can end the shutdown, here on Twitter. #RT this until is becomes a movement. It just has to get out the… https://t.co/nyrZgPR8Hu— Gerald Weaver (@Gerald Weaver) 1548112609.0
@mattdpearce What if we all didn't show up for work?? Literally put the country at a stand still and demand that Tr… https://t.co/UGXWa9yy1v— Tara Ferguson (@Tara Ferguson) 1548158930.0
@thehill The shutdown ends when TSA goes out on strike!— TheBlueWaveUSA (@TheBlueWaveUSA) 1548090664.0
@thehill tsa, air traffic controllers should call in sick Thursday thru Monday of Superbowl weekend. it would be ch… https://t.co/RQU1IEryUA— timbo 🇨🇮🇨🇦 (@timbo 🇨🇮🇨🇦) 1548090840.0
@mattdpearce @deray If they all stopped showing up the govt would open up the next day. They should use their power.— Curtains LaBoeuf (@Curtains LaBoeuf) 1548109698.0
Though the agents are currently unpaid, the consequences for not showing up to work still stand, and could result in them losing their job.