Workers Complain That JFK Contractor Cuts Corners In Aircraft Inspections

Workers Complain That JFK Contractor Cuts Corners In Aircraft Inspections

New York, NY—Contracted security officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport filed a complaint today with the federal Transportation Security Administration saying their employer, Global Security, does not provide them proper equipment to do their jobs and that they are often asked to spend a lot less time than is needed to inspect aircraft.

Global Security officers’ responsibilities include ensuring that unauthorized personnel do not get access to planes. They also monitor cleaners, maintenance crew and caterers to make sure no dangerous items are brought onboard aircraft. Only search teams and mechanics are allowed onboard during security searches according to Global Security protocol, but too often planes arrive late and in order to avoid delaying flights officers are asked to conduct searches with airline crew and cabin cleaners present on the aircraft, which is a security breach.

“My heart skips a beat every time I have to spend less time than necessary inspecting a plane for dangerous materials,” said Jeffrey Uyanik, a security officer with Global Security at JFK. “Just this August, an airline representative told me I had three minutes to complete my search. Three minutes is not enough time to search the plane. I had to skip entire rows.”

Additionally in the complaint, officers say Global Security does not provide radios and that they often rely on their mobile phones for critical communication with supervisors and duty managers, despite areas of the airport lacking cell service.

Officers also charge that Global Security—which has contracts with airlines like Virgin, Qatar, Emirates, Avianca, and Transaero to inspect aircraft at Terminals 1, 4 and 8, where international flights land and originate from at JFK— supplies them with faulty wands that often fail to detect metal. Officers charge that they are often asked by the contractor and representatives of airlines to cut corners in safety inspections of aircrafts.

Global workers are organizing with SEIU 32BJ to improve their working conditions, wages and benefits.

This is the second group of contracted JFK security officers to complain to TSA about a carrier contractor cutting corners. In August, security officers working for Air Serv filed a complaint citing safety problems at the airport, including lack of functioning radio equipment.

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