Some security guards at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) may be sleeping on the job, according to potentially damning reports in the New York Post and CNN this week.
Stephen Jackson, a former manager at FJC Security, a contractor that reportedly provides hundreds of security staff members to the New York City airport, told the Post that he had regularly seen security staff snoozing while on duty. He even provided photographic evidence to prove his point.
The 39-year-old, who was fired in May, says he had told his higher-ups about his sleepy staff members, but had been chastised by management for doing so.
"If you fire someone, you have to do paperwork, hire someone new and place others on overtime until you can find somebody else, so a lot of managers wouldn’t want that placed on their shoulders," he said to the Post. "I’d be told, ‘Jackson, why do you have to make more work for us by exposing these people for sleeping? You should just wake them up and give them warnings.'"
Jackson told CNN that he was ultimately fired for being too "gung-ho."
"At JFK, they didn't want to know about it. They didn't want to deal with it," he said. "I was told that, 'Listen, You fly under the radar here. You don't have to be so gung-ho.'"
Representatives for FJC Security have since denied Jackson's claims, saying that the former employee did not approach company members with evidence of sleeping staff and that he was not fired for whistle-blowing. Jackson's allegations are just "sour grapes," an FJC spokesman told the Post.
Nevertheless, FJC's multi-million dollar contract with the Port Authority may now be "on the line," according to Fox 5 News.
The Port Authority said in a statement Monday that it had "immediately directed FJC to permanently remove from Port Authority premises the guards shown sleeping in photos and/or on video as well as any other guards caught sleeping at our facilities."
"The Port Authority will not tolerate unacceptable performance from its vendors," the statement said, according to CNN.