Road Warrior

Heating Lunch Instead: TSA Fires Six Boston Screeners

Bart Jansen, USA Today

The Transportation Security Administration is firing six of its screening officers at Boston's Logan airport and suspending 14 others, after finding they weren't paying attention on the job.

The workers, who all served in the same checked-baggage screening room at the airport, have a week to challenge the discipline. Those suspended from three to 14 days include two managers and a supervisor.

"All TSA employees are held to the highest standards of conduct and accountability," the agency said in a statement. "These standards are critical to our work and TSA's commitment to the safety of the traveling public."

The discipline followed several months of investigation that found workers weren't paying close attention to monitors that screen for explosives, perhaps talking on cellphones or heating up their lunch.

The Boston discipline follows similar moves in other cities, including four clusters of firings in June:

—At New York's JFK airport, eight air marshals, including a supervisor, were fired for drinking alcohol during a training day. Six others were suspended for not reporting the misconduct.

—At New Jersey's Newark airport, eight baggage screeners were fired for sleeping on the job or violating other rules in a checked-baggage room.

—In Philadelphia, seven workers were fired after another worker was convicted of bribery a week earlier for charging workers to pass certification tests.

—In Fort Myers, Fla., five workers were fired and 37 more, including the security director, were suspended for failing to conduct additional random screenings of hundreds of passengers.