Furloughed workers in Huntsville are excited shutdown is over

WAAY 31 talked to a TSA agent and a NASA employee.

Posted: Jan. 25, 2019 11:04 PM

TSA Agents at Huntsville International Airport told WAAY 31 they still don't know when they will be paid, but they are extremely relieved the shutdown is over, for now.

This year is Diane Counts 11th as a TSA Agent. She makes sure when planes take off they will safely arrive at their destination. When she and the other agents found out the shutdown was over friday, "I said, 'if we could stop and have a party for a few minutes we might,' but you can't," said Counts.

The shutdown's financial burdens on her and her fellow agents were not easy, "It stresses people," said Counts, so they leaned on each other, "It has really brought us closer," said Counts.

A NASA employee at Marshall Space Flight Center told WAAY 31 he and his coworkers are eager to get back to work, but they're still waiting to hear from bosses about when their first day back will be. Right now, there's no reprieve for looming deadlines, despite missing 35 days. When they do go back to work it will be a rush to complete their projects.

Back at the airport, Counts and her fellow agents said they don't care if their back pay comes with interest, which Senator Doug Jones is proposing. They're just happy to get paid, "Mentally, morale, everything; it helps it all," said Counts.

Their focus is even shifting back to giving back to the community that came forward to help them with gift cards in recent days, "How do we pay you back? How do we pay it forward," said Counts.

TSA Agents told WAAY 31 they understand this might just be a short term reprieve if politicians in Washington don't strike a deal before February 15th, but they're choosing to focus on the positive right now and be thankful.

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