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Airport Gives Free Lunches to Federal Workers as They Miss Their First Paychecks

As TSA workers across the country miss their first scheduled payday on Friday due to the government shutdown, Pittsburgh International is offering federal workers at the airport a free lunch as a way to say thank you.

“We have not seen an impact on operations or lines here in Pittsburgh due to the shutdown. We are so thankful to the federal employees including TSA, FAA, Customs and others for continuing to work without pay at this critical time,” Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis said. “I think we all can agree that this is an issue that needs to be fixed quickly.”

The program will continue on all Fridays until the federal government reopens.

Pittsburgh International Airport staff passed out more than 200 bagged lunches on all shifts from Bruegger’s Bagels with a sandwich, chips, cookie and drink to federal workers including TSA agents, FAA air traffic controllers and others. Federal workers at Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin will also receive lunches.

Reportedly, hundreds of TSA screeners have called off sick in other parts of the country this week, raising concern for security and operations at airports across the U.S. Locally, any so-called ‘blue flu’ has not reached PIT.

William Reese, the union representative for 130 TSA employees at Pittsburgh International, was grateful for the support.

“I mean, it’s been incredible,” Reese said. “I am thankful for the airport and everyone that is showing their appreciation to us. On behalf of the TSA workforce, I’d like to thank the airport and every federal agency that is involved, for all of their support and for working together to get through this difficult time we are going to be going through in weeks to come.

“I really appreciate all of the effort everyone is putting in, and for everyone still coming to work.”

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