Logan Airport Workers to Protest Recidivist Airport Contractor

Logan Airport Workers to Protest Recidivist Airport Contractor

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 10AM at  JFK Federal Building  5 Sudbury St, Boston, MA 02203

Boston, MA –Logan International Airport workers will rally on Thursday morning outside the JFK Building to demand that aviation contractors step up health and safety protocols. Just weeks after Delta’s contractor ReadyJet Inc. was cited by  the Occupational Safety and Health and Administration (OSHA) for exposing workers to dangerous chemicals and other workplace hazards, a group of Logan airport employees will file yet another complaint with the federal agency against the recidivist employer for exposing workers to toxic chemicals without proper equipment.

The workers have previously filed OSHA complaints against ReadyJet, a JetBlue, Delta and US Airways contractor, and other contractors for a range of issues including rats and roaches in the warehouse where passenger food is stored, lack of cleaning chemicals for airplane cabin cleaning, being asked to enter the plane with supplies after emptying the lavatory without changing or washing up, and a faulty van used for transporting workers.

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.

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.

Worker Intimidation

ReadyJet managers have subject­ed workers to a litany of unfair la­bor practices including surveil­lance and threats. In some cases, these incidents were related to workers raising concerns about security and health and safety problems they had witnessed. Several workers have also been suspended or fired after they ex­ercised their right to engage in concerted activity.

 

*For background information or copies of the complaint, contact: evillasante@seiu32bj.org Cell: 646-285-1087

With more than 150,000 members in 11 states, including 18,000 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, SEIU 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.

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