‘That’s not good news for us:’ TSA workers prepare for possible government shutdown

ATLANTA — The clock is ticking, to prevent a government shutdown.

When the clock hits 12:01 a.m. Sunday, millions of people may stop getting paid if there is a government shutdown.

Channel 2′s Larry Spruill was live at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m. Thursday.

This could have impacts on your benefits and things at Hartsfield-Jackson could get chaotic.

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It’s the world’s busiest airport and that’s because hundreds of thousands of people fly in and out of Atlanta every day.

Traveler Gary McConnel said the airport is like his second home because he travels often.

“Probably over 150 days a year,” said McConnel.

He said he has his travel routine down, but he’s nervous that the routine could be grounded due to a possible government shutdown.

Aaron Barker is the president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 554. They represent over 700,000 government employees, including TSA. Barker said ‘Dooms Day’ is Sunday.

“Dooms Day...we’re not looking forward to that. No one is looking forward to that,” said Barker.

“Right now, we’re expecting things to go into a shutdown. That’s not good news for us,” said Baker.

Barker said that’s because TSA workers will have to work without getting paid.

“The looming effects of not getting paid, not knowing when...that causes distraction and stress, and it can affect your home life. That’s not fair on any level, for any job. If you’re doing the work, you should get paid,” he said.

If you have ever flown out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, then you know the security lines can be long on any given day.

Many people said if a government shutdown happens, it will affect their travel.


“Some of us do TSA Pre, and if you’re early enough, you’re fine. But general boarding and TSA Pre, there will be a lot more pressure to get here a lot earlier,” said McConnel.

TSA leaders strongly suggest all of their workers show up to work as scheduled.

TSA workers will receive back pay if a shutdown happens. It’s just getting through the shutdown that has many concerned.

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Larry Spruill

Larry Spruill, WSB-TV

Larry Spruill Jr. has been part of the WSB-TV family since March 2022. He is an Emmy Nominated Journalist with over 12 years of news and storytelling experience.