The following statement can be attributed to Kevin Brown, Vice President and NJ State Director of 32BJ SEIU:
Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the family, friends and coworkers of our sister Jacqueline Mkalama, a Newark Airport cleaner who is in critical condition after she was struck by a CommutAir plane on Saturday. She suffered a head injury and still in a coma after the incident.
Subcontracted airport workers like Jacqueline Mkalama deserve better safety protocols and training. The “Dirty Dozen” subcontractor PrimeFlight has previously violated its employees’ rights. Before this safety incident, Jacqueline Mkalama and her coworkers were even forced to file unfair labor practice charges against Primeflight with the National Labor Relations Board. Besides simply following the law, Primeflight and United should take all necessary measures to minimize any unnecessary risks to workers and passengers alike.
With 163,000 members in twelve states and Washington, D.C., including over 10,000 in New Jersey, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.