Union, chef team up to feed airport workers
A local chef and the largest union in the United States partnered to give relief to workers at Columbia’s airport who are going without pay during the government shutdown.
On Saturday, the AFLCIO together with Kristian Neimi, the chef and owner of Bourbon on Main Street in downtown Columbia, provided a meal for TSA workers at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
“Our members are concerned with making ends meet. Many of our members that are being forced to work without pay are concerned with how to pay for gas to get to work. Many members are worried how they are going to pay their mortgage or rent,” the AFL-CIO said in a statement.
Transporation Security Administration workers chiefly screen passengers and luggage at airports to ensure safety. TSA em-
ployees are working without pay during the government shutdown, according to a New York Times article, and many are calling out sick or finding other work, issues that are expected to worsen as the shutdown is prolonged.
In North Carolina, a food bank has been delivering food to TSA employees who work at the Raleigh-durham International Airport.
Officials with the Miami International Airport have already scheduled a temporary shutdown of one of their terminals due to a lack of TSA workers being available.
The president of the TSA Council of the American Federation of Government Employees, Hydrick Thomas, was quoted in the New York Times saying this week that “extreme financial hardship” had driven some of his members to resign and many others to consider doing so.
TSA workers earn about $35,000 a year on average, according to union officials who spoke with the Times.