LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — We are now entering day 32 of the government shutdown and the impact it is having on airports is growing each day.
On Sunday, 10% of TSA workers nationwide called in sick because they are not getting paid. That means longer wait times for people traveling.
Many TSA workers say they have little money left for gas or ways to get to work while the agency says we are entering quote "uncharted territory."
Fortunately, we haven't really felt the impact yet at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas because many TSA agents are still showing up. But that doesn't mean workers here aren't struggling.
We've already seen several local businesses step up to help workers impacted by the shutdown and now TSA agents are working to help each other.
Becky Esquivel and Margie Gonzales are looking at another pay period with no pay. They both work for the TSA. Margie is furloughed. Becky is still working, but without a paycheck.
"We are the lowest paid federal workers so many live paycheck to paycheck so it's hard to just be able to make those ends meet," says Becky.
Both know as tough as it's been for them, others have it harder. So. they've been networking, talking to business owners and local officials to help all struggling federal workers in Clark County.
Some coworkers have trouble getting to work with expired bus passes, no money for gas. So when RTC announced it's offering free rides for them, Margie says, "I was again crying in tear with happiness, with joy."
But there's more work to be done.
Becky and Margie are helping get these food boxes from Seek Jesus First Ministries to the coworkers who need them. Pastor Rozita Lee encourages those in need to come down their office at Sahara and Rainbow on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
"If they can't come during that time, we set aside special boxes for them so they can come on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday," says Lee.
Both women know the community has their back, and they appreciate it,
Becky says they are extremely grateful. "We are just feeling the love. It's wonderful but there are still needs out there.
Margie has a request. "Anybody who goes to the airport, and you see them (TSA agents) working please say thank you.
They are also asking you to call your representative and ask them to help open up the government.
As for federal workers impacted by the shutdown, we have a list of businesses and services offering discounts and deals here.