MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida restaurant is stepping up to help provide free meals to Transportation Security Administration workers at Miami International Airport.
Chef Creole dished out more than 300 meals for TSA agents who haven’t been getting paid due to the partial government shutdown.
“These people are here every day,” said owner Wilkinson Sejour. “It’s not like they don’t want to work, they want to work — they just aren’t getting paid.”
The restaurant took to Instagram to show their support for the federal workers.
“Today I was honored and humbled to show our appreciation & gratitude to TSA workers affected,” the post read.
The post went on to say that their meals helped feed over 250 employees in the first shift alone.
Chef Creole serves Haitian cuisine, including traditional Bahamian and Creole dishes. The restaurant’s Instagram page claims they serve the “best seafood in town.”
“Things are a little confusing up there in Washington,” Sejour said, “and they have to pay the price for it? It really doesn’t make sense.”
Monday marked the 24th day of what’s now the longest government shut down in U.S. history.
The show of generosity takes place hours after U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., met with furloughed airport workers and representatives.
The congresswoman said it’s time to act, and the clock is ticking.
“We must reopen the government,” she said during Monday morning’s meeting.
Wasserman Schultz called the shutdown over President Donald Trump’s border wall a “boondoggle.” She claims the government shutdown is jeopardizing people’s lives, and Trump is bringing the government to its knees.
“The government should not be closed just so that the president can be allowed to throw a temper tantrum over his border wall,” she said.
Union representatives said they are doing their best to keep the skies safe under tremendous personal pressure.
“People are worried and stressed and spending a lot of their time thinking about, ‘How am I going to make it? How am I going to pay my bills?’” said Bill Kisseadoo, a representative with the National Air Traffic Control Association.
TSA at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said the strained situation has led to food drives being held for employees who are unable to pay for groceries.
At Miami International Airport some TSA agents said they are living paycheck to paycheck.
Employees on back pay will eventually receive paychecks for all their time worked but not until the government reopens.
“The least that we can do is say, ‘Hey, you’re not doing good now, but we can do it, we can help you, so let’s do it,’” said Sejour.
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