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Workers At JFK Airport Allege Lapses In Security, Training

Workers protesting at JFK Airport - Nov. 21, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Workers protesting at JFK Airport – Nov. 21, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Do you feel safe and secure at John F. Kennedy International Airport? You might not after hearing what some of the security personnel there have to say.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

Non-union security workers at JFK picketed on Wednesday and say they’re underpaid and poorly trained.

“We’re the eyes and the ears for the whole airport and people need to recognize that,” said Gladys Restow, a traffic guard for Air Serv Security “$8 for a guard to stand at these alarm doors is not funny.”

They also say that once a plane lands, security checkers with Global Elite are being rushed.

“God forbid a terrorist leaves something there. If they do that in less than five minutes, guess what, they didn’t do a thorough job,” Restow told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

Claims filed with the Transportation Security Administration in September have gone unanswered, reported Diamond.

“They’re supposed to be checked for anything that’s on the plane before it takes off again. They’re being rushed,” said Rob Murray with 32BJ, the union who organized the protest after the complaints were filed with the TSA.

The New York State Senate Transportation Committee also investigating.

“It takes only one error for a catastrophe and your here and we’re here to make sure that that catastrophe doesn’t happen,” said St. Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky.

The two private security firms say their internal inspections and surprise audits by the TSA prevent security breaches.