The union is only as strong as we are. If we don’t get up and fight things stay the same with the 99% and the 1%.

~ Kim Squirrel, 32BJ Member, Western Pennsylvania

Logan Airport Cleaning Contractor Cited For Workplace Safety Violations

Posted 10/1/15 | Filed in

Total penalties could amount to $18,000

Boston, MA –ReadyJet Inc., a JetBlue, Delta and US Airways cleaning contractor with a history of health and safety and labor violations has repeatedly put workers at Logan International Airport in danger of being injured by exposing them to dangerous chemicals and other workplace hazards, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says.

OSHA issued ReadyJet 2 citations with a proposed total penalty of $18,000, the workplace safety agency announced.

The hazards were discovered during an inspection that include among other things: insufficient training blood borne pathogen exposure for workers and exposure to dangerous chemicals, OSHA said.

“Contractors like ReadyJet have no place at Logan Airport. OSHA just confirmed what these workers have been saying all along: ReadyJet is dangerous and puts workers at risk,”said Roxana Rivera, Vice President of 32BJ SEIU.

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.

 

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.

For More Information

Eugenio H. Villasante 646-285-1087