Forty percent of the TSA workforce is unvaccinated ahead of a November 22 deadline.
Pilots are protesting vaccine mandates, and some at the very end of their careers facing mandatory retirement anyway might call it quits a little early. Some mechanics might do the same. But the incredible vaccination rate success at United, and Delta’s announcement of 90% vaccinations so far, suggests that in the end most airline employees will follow procedures. Delta’s CEO doesn’t see employees losing their jobs and Southwest is pushing them to seek religious and medical exemptions.
Airline jobs are – for the most part – good jobs, so there’s a real cost to not complying with vaccine rules imposed by their employers (in most cases under pressure from the federal government). But how good a job is TSA screener? You get to call yourself an officer and wear a blue uniform but you’re not law enforcement. The agency has a massive discipline problem to begin with.
So while most of the focus has been on airline workforce issues, and whether a federal deadline of December 8 to comply will wreak havoc on holiday travel (American Airlines says they’ll begin termination proceedings on the Wednesday before thanksgiving!), a big mess could come out of TSA screeners ineligible to work because they’re unvaccinated.
TSA PreCheck at Washington National Airport
Make sure you have TSA PreCheck – but also CLEAR, though of course that isn’t available everywhere (thanks, American!).