Jun 9, 2021 - Economy & Business

TSA asks office workers for help as America's largest airports face staffing shortages

 TSA screening  at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
TSA screening at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the Transportation Security Administration issued an internal memo on May 30 warning that 131 of the largest U.S. airports will face staffing shortages as in June, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The state of play: The memo asks TSA office workers to volunteer for up to 45 days to help run queues and perform administrative tasks, with summer travel expected to ramp up, per the Post.

The big picture: TSA has resorted to other measures to boost staffing amid the expected travel surge in recent weeks, including offering $500 monthly bonuses to screening officers at short-staffed airports, expanding employees' overtime hours, and making some part-time workers full-time, per the post.

  • Union leaders told the Post that TSA had also required some employees to work on their days off.
  • TSA has hired more than 3,000 employees in the last few months and aims to hire another 3,000 by the end of summer, per the Post.

What they're saying: “With this increase in volume, TSA must maintain operational readiness and ensure that the screening workforce is available to perform screening functions,” Darby LaJoye, TSA's acting administrator, wrote in the memo obtained by the Post.

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