Airports fighting new security checks
Oct 22,2007 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON -- Federal officials say they won't relax a new policy mandating government background checks for sales clerks, waiters and janitors at U.S. airports.

"When you start something new, it's going to take a little time to work it out. But we aren't going to back down on vetting people," said Ellen Howe, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.

A leading airport association says the TSA policy, which took effect Oct. 1, has led to hiring delays because of the length of time it takes to obtain clearances, USA Today reported Monday.

"Businesses are contemplating shutting down because of the inability to bring on new employees," Airports Council International President Greg Principato said in a letter last week to TSA officials.

Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport is waiting for the TSA to clear nearly 500 people who have been offered jobs, while Miami International Airport has 720 people awaiting clearance, USA Today reported.

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