TSA officers buy pizza, stock pantries for airport co-workers affected by coronavirus pandemic
The steep decline in air travel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered layoffs, furloughs and shortened work hours for airport employees and contract workers ranging from wheelchair attendants and baggage handlers to janitorial crews and concessions staff.
In a growing number of cities their co-workers from the Transportation Security Administration, who continue to receive paychecks, are stepping up to help, by hosting temporary food pantries in airports around the nation, providing free lunches and dinners to their struggling colleagues or donating their time to make masks and other essential items for communities in need.
Unite Here, a union representing hospitality workers, estimates that 42,000 of its members in the airport industry are currently out of work. Most of those lost jobs are in airport concessions and airline catering, where wages range from $9 to $16 an hour.