Chaos at airports as TSA workers calling out sick en masse as they go without pay during shutdown
Transportation Security Administration officers record an explosion at the explosive ordnance disposal range May 28, 2014, at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. TSA officers were given the opportunity to remotely detonate some of the explosives during the training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ned T. Johnston)

TSA employees forced to work without pay during Donald Trump's border wall government shutdown have begun calling out sick in large numbers in major airports.


"This will definitely affect the flying public who we (are) sworn to protect," the president of the TSA's national union, Hydrick Thomas, told CNN.

According to Thomas, over 170 TSA employees have called out sick each day this week at New York City's John F. Kennedy airport. To cover, morning shift officers "were required to work extra hours to cover the gaps" -- without pay.

Another TSA official told the network that at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, employee call outs increased between 200 and 300 percent.

"Union officials stress that the absences are not part of an organized action," CNN reported, "but believe the number of people calling out will likely increase."

As the shutdown continues, TSA officials expect the call outs to increase.

"This problem of call outs is really going to explode over the next week or two when employees miss their first paycheck," a DFW airport union official told CNN. "TSA officers are telling the union they will find another way to make money. That means calling out to work other jobs."

You can read more about the shutdown's effect on TSA below and via CNN.