Baltimore, MD – Anne Arundel County Executive Stuart Pittman has joined workers at BWI Marshall Airport to demand that airline contractor, Menzies Aviation, PLC take action to ensure the safety of their employees. Menzies, which services every airline at BWI, has been fined by the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) for violating safety regulations, as detailed in two Baltimore Sun stories.
“I stand with 32BJ SEIU in support of workers at BWI who continue to face unsafe working conditions at Menzies Aviation,” said County Executive Pittman. “We depend on these workers to keep our airport running smoothly, so we must keep them safe.”
The workers filed two rounds of charges against their employer, one in April and the second in October. Baltimore City Council members John Bullock and Christopher Burnett each participated in separate events at the airport urging Menizes to make the necessary repairs.
While the company has addressed all of the issues from the April Complaint, and some of the issues from the most recent Complaint, as of this date these issues remain unresolved:
Menzies workers regularly use lead acid batteries that jet way mechanics are required to clean and charge. Lack of appropriate protective equipment has led to workers stepping and kneeling in electrolyte spills (sulfuric acid) and prolonged inhalation of fumes (hydrogen gas).
Workers report that they:
· Are not equipped with rubber aprons to protect against potential splashes while cleaning lead acid batteries for powered industrial trucks.
· Do not have an adequate ventilation system or respirators to use while cleaning lead batteries.
· Have not been adequately trained on how to use PPE when cleaning lead acid batteries.
Eye and Face Protection – Workers do not have adequate protective eye and face equipment while cleaning lead acid batteries.
Training – Batteries – Workers have not been adequately trained how to clean lead acid batteries for powered industrial trucks.
With more than 173,000 members in 11 states, including 20,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.
# # #