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June 04, 2003

ARE THEY INSANE? Bush Slashing Airport Screening Jobs

Citing budget cuts, the Bush administration is laying off 10% of airport screeners across the country, sending 6000 employees packing:

The cuts are part of the TSA's recently announced plan to trim 6,000 airport screening jobs nationwide, a move attributed in part to budget constraints. Half the jobs are expected to be cut by month's end; the rest would be gone by the end of September, the agency said. As of March 31, TSA employed 55,600 screeners.
Not surprisingly, some airline consumer groups are screaming:
"These labor cutbacks unless they're coupled with some other measures to compensate to improve the system further they will result in an overall reduction in security," said Hudson, executive director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project.
The administration is justifying the cuts based on worries of overstaffing airports, but as we drop hundreds of billions a year on military adventures overseas, it hardly seems excessive to spend a few extra millions at our airports.

But hey, unless we cut back on our security, how will we pay for those tax cuts for the wealthy?

One other note from the link above, it turns out that the GOP-hack firm, ChoicePoint is involved in doing background checks on screening employees and has been botching the job:

The push to put federal screeners at airport gates and metal detectors led to botched background checks on some workers who were then given security passes, a newspaper reported Friday.

Among the foul-ups were questionnaires that were lost and fingerprints that were never checked against a national crime database.

Because of the problems, several major airports plan to recheck the screeners the Los Angeles Times reports.

So Bush is happily handing out fat contracts to its incompetent corporate cronies, but is rushing to cut employee jobs that could save our lives. About what you'd expect from this administration.

Posted by Nathan at June 4, 2003 03:47 PM