Philly airport workers file federal safety complaints

airport rally
Subcontracted Philadelphia International Airport workers rallied last month for better working conditions. Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

Employees of the Philadelphia International Airport will gather at City Hall on Monday morning with disability rights advocates, officials with property services union 32 BJ and members of City Council to announce the filing of numerous complaints with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The workers’ allegations include exposure to bodily fluids, a lack of required training, and potentially hazardous conditions for wheelchair operators and passengers at the airport.

Many of the baggage handlers and wheelchair operators at the Philadelphia International Airport are employed by city subcontractors, who have not been required to comply with the Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard passed by the City Council in 2005.

The subcontracted employees – many of whom make just the federal minimum wage and receive no benefits – have rallied in the past for better working conditions, winning the support of unions and religious coalitions.

Philadelphia International Airport workers and activists will announce the alleged safety violations in detail at the meeting.


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