TSA agents in St. Louis working without pay, while furloughed workers protest shut down

ST. LOUIS – As the partial federal government shut down affects hundreds of thousands of families across the country a handful of St. Louisans rallied Monday in frustration.

TSA employees are expected to work without pay during the federal government shut down because they are considered essential.  So far it appears to have had very little impact on TSA operations St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

According to media reports from various cities, TSA which is responsible for operating security checkpoints at airports across the country was suffering from staffing shortages because of the government shutdown. TSA agents reportedly have been calling in sick in large numbers during the shutdown in protest of withheld pay.

The TSA federal security director for Missouri did issue a statement saying they have not seen any significant increase in call-outs by employees. And he says most passengers are waiting 30 minutes or less to get through the security lines. Arriving passengers Fox 2/News 11 talked with at Lambert said they did not experience any delays at other airports.

Other federal furloughed workers in St. Louis are taking to the streets to protest the government shutdown.  About a half dozen U.S. Department of Agriculture employees protested outside the federal government center on Goodfellow Monday.  A number of federal agencies are located there, but not all of them are shut down.  Those USDA employees who are not getting paid say they will be conducting more protests late this week.

The TSA federal director for Missouri issued an additional statement saying he is grateful for the agency's employees here who are staying on the job without getting paid.