I KNOW I PROMISED, BUT WHEN I READ THIS ARTICLE THAT WAS SENT TO ME BY THE LONEWATCHMAN, I JUST COULD NOT RESIST. I THOUGHT THAT THE ARTICLE WAS ABOUT THE TSA AT THE GERALD R. FORD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TILL I SAW HONOLULU. MANY, MANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO AIRPORTS WHEN IT COMES TO MANAGEMENT OF THE TSA.
TSA Investigates Allegations Of Bad Management At Honolulu Airport
Workers Tell KITV That Management Has 'Uneven Standards'
POSTED: 4:16 pm HST August 16, 2005
HONOLULU -- The Transportation Security Administration is investigating
allegations of bad management by top screening officials at Honolulu
International Airport, KITV 4 News has learned. Among the complaints
are allegations of favoritism and retaliation.
Security screeners who KITV 4 News has interviewed this summer say
shoddy management at the TSA in Honolulu results in "uneven standards"
at airport security checkpoints. Now the TSA has begun its own probe of
some of the complaints that KITV 4 News first reported in June.
A team of TSA officials including some from the Los Angeles
International Airport arrived in Honolulu on Sunday to look into
complaints of former and current TSA employees here, sources said.
KITV 4 News obtained a memo to employees from Stanford Miyamoto, the
deputy federal security director and second-in-command of TSA Honolulu.
The memo starts out saying, "I NEED YOUR HELP!!!" It goes on to say
that allegations have surfaced "that may indicate the management
environment at HNL is not reflective of a model workplace" in several
# Areas listed: Personnel actions, including promotions
# Application of sick leave policies
# Low morale
In June, KITV spoke with Robert Cravens, a TSA screener who said
managers cut his hours to part time after he pointed out unsafe storage
of thousands of cigarette lighters.
"These people are incompetent. And it's an embarrassment to the great
employees we have at the airport," Cravens said.
Another screener, who asked to remain anonymous, told KITV 4 News that
TSA supervisors have different standards. Some allow people to keep
their athletic shoes on, but others require airline passengers to take
them off at screening checkpoints.
Miyamoto's memo to staff said he's spoken to most of the TSA management
personnel in the hopes of "turning things around and getting the
organization on the right track."
Miyamoto said based on the allegations TSA sent a "team from outside to
help resolve and address the situation at HNL."
Miyamoto declined to comment. Staff said TSA Honolulu Director Sidney
Hayakawa was out of the office Tuesday.
A TSA spokesman in Los Angeles declined to go into specifics, but said
this is the first time an outside team has been dispatched to Hawaii to
look into management since TSA started in the fall of 2002.
"If complaints or allegations are brought forward, we will investigate
those fully and take action when necessary," TSA spokesman Nico
TSA Employee's Complaints
A veteran screener, who has been with TSA since the fall of 2002,
resigned on June 30, 2005. Here is a summary of some of the written
complaints he made to supervisors in the last year and a half.
1. On April 14, 2004, TSA supervisor told him to read a "recurrent
training binder" while he was guarding an exit at the airport. He says
he refused to do so, but told her he’d be glad to do the reading during
his break. "Reading while posted as exit monitor is strictly
prohibited. So why is our supervisor directing us to do such a thing?
It can cause a breach and jeopardize my job," he wrote.
2. He complained that the same supervisor falsified his training
documents on April 18, 2004. He says she filled in his time sheet,
claiming that he spent six hours in training, when he was actually
working at a checkpoint.
3. On Aug. 29, 2004 at about 2:30 p.m., he was taking over at a
thru metal detector. "I observed that the next passenger to walk
through was wearing thick soled athletic shoes. I mentioned to the
screener that I was about to relieve that the shoes should be removed.
His response was 'oh, not, not on the morning shift. No we let them
through, the Supervisor has said we can.'" And he said the passenger
"was listening to this discrepancy of procedures between the AM and PM
4. The same day, Aug. 29, 2004, he was operating the X-ray machine
at a checkpoint. He says screeners complained when he'd call for them
to check a bag to verify that it did not contain prohibited items. He
claims the screeners said "we're understaffed," and asked him to re-run
5. He was operating the X-ray machine on Sept. 5, 2004, when he
requested manual bag checks because some of the images on the monitor
appeared with a "cut" or "split," making them hard to check for
prohibited items. He said two screeners told him: "It's so small, you
can still see everything. Why bag check that? Just send it." He wrote
that he was concerned about such a "lax attitude" by screeners.
"Laziness in security is only (an) invitation for a breach to occur,"
he wrote to supervisors.
6. On Nov. 25, 2004, he complained that another screener read
pornographic magazines from luggage at a Continental Airlines baggage
check site. He told supervisors the screener was doing this in plain
view of passengers, who included a group of schoolgirls. Supervisors
wrote back that "An inquiry was conducted and completed and appropriate
action has been taken."
7. He reported that on Jan. 6, 2005, screeners allowed a blind
vendor employee to put his large drink cup filled with liquid to go
through the X-ray machine. He says the same man has repeatedly been
allowed to do this, even though the TSA prohibits opened beverages from
going through the machine, because any spill could damage the sensitive
equipment. "I would hate to see a million dollar piece of machinery
destroyed because they can't follow simple standard operating
procedures," he wrote.
8. In April of 2005, he reported that screeners were playing cards
instead of going through recurrent training that's required by
9. May 18, 2005, he is notified he's under investigation "into your
misconduct of workplace threats." That came after he left a message on
the voice mail of a TSA human resources employee saying he was tired of
harassment by supervisors and co-workers at work that he felt was
retaliation for his complaints against them. He says he told the human
resources employee that he worried he would "snap."
10. Later in May, he wrote in another memo to supervisors that
"inconsistency among supervisors at each checkpoint, work station,
terminal and among AM and PM (day and night shifts) is greatly reducing
morale among the screener force! These memos or directives are put out
among the entire HNL airport, yet some supervisors enforce it and some