CHS TSA agents work without pay during government shutdown

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - About 160 Transportation Security Administration employees who work at the Charleston International Airport are working without pay as the government shutdown continues.

They are one week away from missing another paycheck.

Sally Warshaw Weisman went through security at the airport. She’s an accountant and a compensation benefits professional whose had to manage furloughed situations in the past.

“These TSA workers, I almost forgot to thank them because they were so positive and so upbeat when I came through security just now and it was very very smooth this morning,” Weisman said.

She thanked each worker.

"I want them to know they have my compassion," she said.

The Federal Security Director for the state of South Carolina, Steven Corey, says the airport is operating as normal.

He says he's issued notices to creditors to make them aware workers aren't getting paid.

"The TSA officer has a rough job, they see thousands of passengers each day, they're dealing with security events all the time, sometimes they get a black eye every now and then," Corey said. "What changes is this environment is the support we're getting from the passengers, patting an officer on the back, shaking their hand and saying thank you for being here."

Right now some workers are carpooling to cut down on gas costs or using savings to get by if they have it.

More than 40 local businesses or vendors have dropped off food for workers since the shutdown.

"The community outreach is just humbling to us, it's almost unprecedented," Corey said. "I've been with the agency 17 years and I've never seen something quite as dramatic as this where the outpouring of the support we're getting is just nonstop everyday."

Corey says they've also received support from local clergy and a group of local attorneys have offered pro bono assistance to help officers with creditors.

He says banks and lending institutions have low interest loans to offer as well.

“Hopefully this will be resolved very soon but it creates additional undue stress on an already stressful job,” Weisman said.

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