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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com 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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