Add this to the list of grievances many have against the Transportation Security Administration. Eight TSA workers at Newark Airport in New Jersey have been suspended after an investigation revealed workers were doing everything "from stealing from passengers to sleeping on the job to even failing to screen luggage for potential bombs," the New York Post reports.
From the Post:
The investigation is targeting Transportation Security Administration screeners and supervisors assigned to the reportedly problem-plagued baggage area of Terminal B, which handles Delta and many foreign airlines, sources said.
Sources say hidden surveillance cameras caught several TSA screeners sleeping while on duty.
“They did find people sleeping on the job on the midnight crew. A plane goes out at 2 a.m., and there’s no activity for a while, so they’ll sit down and go to sleep,” one law-enforcement official said.
Other workers are accused of failing to screen luggage and of stealing from passengers’ bags.
The Star-Ledger reports the number is seven, not eight, but that at least one suspension is likely to lead to a firing:
A baggage screener at Newark Liberty International Airport who failed to do his job last month is likely to be dismissed, while six others have been relieved of their duties under a crackdown intended to improve security, TSA and union representative said Sunday.
The veteran Transportation Security Administration employee failed to adequately check two bags on Dec. 22 after they had raised red flags, causing two planeloads of luggage to be unloaded and rescreened, TSA said. The failure was spotted immediately, the TSA said at the time, and the bags never made it onto an aircraft.
Last month’s incident followed a string of security lapses at Newark Liberty last year that led to the replacement of the airport’s federal security director. And an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s office is ongoing.
TSA responded by saying that it “takes immediate action when our standards aren’t met.’’
"TSA routinely tests security operations to ensure that protocols are being followed and investigates any indication of misconduct," the statement read. "TSA takes immediate action when our high standards aren’t met. TSA also utilizes a number of measures to ensure protocols are being followed, including closed circuit video surveillance, random inspections and covert tests, as well as peer and management oversight."
In September, the TSA fired 28 workers at a Honolulu airport for failing to properly screen luggage.