Due to TSA absences, Miami International Airport will temporarily close one terminal

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The "Blue Flu" as it's being called because of the TSA's blue shirts, is believed to be caused by the ongoing government shutdown, which has stopped paychecks for TSA employees.

Airport screeners start around $24,000 and most earn between $26,000 and $35,000 a year, according to TSA.

But Chin said that if the shutdown continues and additional screeners don't show up for work, the airport could be forced to close a security checkpoint at terminals that have multiple entry points, such as Concourse J or Concourse D.

The Transportation Security Administration said that 5.1 percent of screeners were absent on Thursday, up from 3.3 percent on the same date previous year.

The security checkpoints in terminal G will be closed after 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, he said.

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Other major airports surveyed by The Associated Press said they had no immediate plans to close terminals or take other drastic measures. Even though she's not getting paid, she's showing up to work.

"Our inspectors are the oversight, they are the regulatory side of the house for the FAA", said Mike Perrone, president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union.

As the government shutdown approaches the milestone of becoming the longest in history, Transportation Security Agency employees are feeling the strain ー and soon, so will travelers, Joe Shuker, a TSA union representative, told Cheddar. He said he was more concerned about the hassle than potential security risks.

TSA spokesman Jim Gregory said officials are managing. "That's obviously where it becomes more hard", he said.

The shutdown is already affecting some airport operations, though no problems have been reported yet in Chicago. The TSA said the effect was "minimal".

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Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, which represents 32 unions that cover transportation workers, said he thinks the nation's transportation system is now safe and would not recommend that people avoid flying.

Longer lines will alienate travelers and could push more airports to replace government employees with privately contracted screening agents.

At New York's LaGuardia Airport, fliers had to wait in almost hour-long security lines on Sunday.

The rally was one of several across the country Thursday as the shutdown reached a critical stage in which hundreds of thousands of government workers will miss their first paycheck.

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