Logan Airport Workers on Strike

Logan Airport Workers on Strike

Boston, MA— Nearly 100 non-union contracted airplane cleaners and baggage went on strike Wednesday to protest unfair labor practices committed by their employers, ReadyJet Inc. and G2 Secure staff.

These contractors provide services for JetBlue, US Airways, Delta and other airlines. Both companies are currently under federal investigation for violation of workers’ rights.

“Workers, any workers, but specially workers who toil at a publicly owned airport, should feel that they can speak up and take collective action to demand better working conditions,” said Roxana Rivera, Vice President of 32BJ SEIU. “These hard working men and women who have been illegally threatened for speaking out about their terrible working conditions have every right to be upset and demand better treatment.”

ReadyJet managers have subject­ed workers to unfair la­bor practices including illegal surveil­lance and threats, impeding their ability to organize to improve conditions. In some cases, these incidents were related to workers raising concerns about security and health and safety problems they had witnessed.

The National Labor Relations Board has issued complaint against Ready Jet.  OSHA is currently investigating whether ReadyJet illegally terminated workers for exercising their protected rights.   In total, ReadyJet has fired over 1/3 of its workforce at Logan since January 2014.

The National Labor Relations Board has issued complaint against G2 for illegal handbook clauses that mislead workers and impede their right to engage in concerted action.

Workers have been playing by the rules. They work hard every day to keep the airport running. Now they are demanding their legal right to organize.

WHAT: Strike at Boston International Airport

WHO: Airport workers, labor leaders, elected officials

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 17

–          7:30 AM: Press Conference at Boston Airport T Stop (Blue Line) East Boston Memorial Park
–          3:30 PM: Rally at Steps of State House with elected officials

WHERE: Boston International Airport T Stop (Blue Line)

With 145,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 18,000 in MA, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

Background:

ReadyJet, Inc., which provides cabin cleaning services to air­lines at Logan including Jet­Blue, Delta, and US Airways, has an egregious record on health and safety and workers’ rights. ReadyJet has been cited at the state and federal levels for violat­ing workers’ rights, and is under investigation for additional vio­lations. The company continues to punish workers, cutting their hours and intimidating them from exercising their rights. G2 Secure Staff was fined by OSHA for improper storage of hazardous materials and re­ceived a final penalty of $2,400.

Wage Theft. In July 2014, the Massachu­setts Attorney General ordered ReadyJet to pay employees $13,045 restitution for illegal wage deductions, plus a civil penalty of $5,000. The AG’s office found that money was deducted from 226 workers’ paychecks be­tween July 2012 and May 2014 to pay for TSA badges and uni­forms. The Attorney General’s investigation into other forms of wage theft at ReadyJet is still on­going.

Health and Safety. In June 2014, the U.S. Occupation­al Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) concluded an investiga­tion into ReadyJet’s operations in Terminals A and C at Logan. Among OSHA’s findings:

• ReadyJet lavatory clean­ers were not provided with pro­tective equipment such as gloves and safety goggles to protect themselves from lavatory waste water spills.
• ReadyJet did not clean equipment it loaned to employ­ees.
• Employees did not re­ceive effective training on haz­ardous chemicals.

OSHA issued 4 initial citations against ReadyJet with a penalty of $29,500. After the company agreed to remedy some viola­tions, 2 citations were removed and the fine was lowered to $2,000.

Hours Cuts. ReadyJet workers fought with workers from across Logan to win an airport wage standard of $10/hour starting in 2015. But, 25 full-time ReadyJet workers had their hours cut to part-time after Massport approved the wage.

The National Labor Relations Board has issued complaint against Ready Jet.  OSHA is currently investigating whether ReadyJet illegally terminated workers for exercising their protected rights.   In total, ReadyJet has fired over 1/3 of its workforce at Logan since January 2014.

Workers have been playing by the rules. They work hard every day to keep the airport running.   Now they are demanding their legal right their right to organize.

Logan Airport, New England’s largest transportation center brings more than $7 billion in economic activity to the area, but many of the workers there do not reap the benefits. To cut costs, airlines like JetBlue, outsource passenger service jobs to low-bid contractors. This low-bid system leaves cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants and baggage handlers who allow the airport to run making as little as $10 an hour, without access to affordable health benefits or sick days.

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