Airport fueler responds to Tarleton campaign claims

The below letter to the editor was submitted to The Seattle Times in response to a recent article about the Legislative race between Port of Seattle Commissioner Gael Tarleton and Noel Frame.

To the editors:

I don’t understand what Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton could be talking about when she said that “as Port Commissioner she had pushed for increased employee safety standards” for airport workers (“Nuances rule in 36th District race between progressives Tarleton, Frame,” Oct. 24, 2012)…

I have worked as a fueler at Sea-Tac for 14 years. My co-workers and I at ASIG—an Alaska Airlines contractor—have repeatedly raised safety issues with Ms. Tarleton. We told her about being required to wash jet fuel-soiled uniforms in our washing machines at home. We told her about broken fuel nozzles, rickety ladders, and trucks with soft brakes. And I personally spoke before her at the Port Commission again this week to report that many safety hazards remain.

Fueling used to be a good job, but now, like thousands of other workers at our airport, I work for low wages in unsafe conditions. We have asked Ms. Tarleton to help improve safety and create good jobs, but we have not seen her do much about it.

This is no way to run a first class airport. As Port Commissioner, Ms. Tarleton surely knows that.

Gary Yancey, Sea-Tac fueler

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