State Investigators Fine Alaska Airlines, Contractors; Total Of 21 Serious Violations, $68,000 In Fines.

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NEW VIOLATIONS BY ALASKA AIRLINES AND ITS CONTRACTORS FOR EXPOSING WORKERS TO BLOOD BORNE PATHOGENS, CAUSTIC JET FUEL AND TOXIC CHEMICALS.

FULL COPY OF ALASKA AIRLINES AND CONTRACTORS CITATIONS AND NOTICES

SeaTac Airport – June 14, 2013 –  The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has issued new citations for multiple serious health and safety violations against Alaska Airlines and two of its contractors for failing to protect workers from exposure to corrosive cleaning chemicals, caustic jet fuel, blood borne pathogens, and body fluids including vomit, urine, feces and blood. The 17 new serious violations just
announced by L&I, which follow state citations against another Alaska contractor earlier this spring, bring the total for Alaska and its Sea-Tac contractors to 21 serious health and safety violations.

FULL COPY OF ALASKA AIRLINES AND CONTRACTORS CITATIONS AND NOTICES

Huge support as workers, community allies launch “good jobs” initiative in SeaTac

SeaTac, May 14 – Airport workers and community allies are moving forward on a voter initiative to improve the jobs of thousands of low-wage workers in and around SeaTac Airport.

Last week, airport workers who are part of the SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs filed an initiative petition with the City of SeaTac and have begun to collect signatures to get the measure qualified for presentation to the City Council, and for inclusion on the November 2013 ballot

More than 90 volunteers came out last Saturday to gather signatures. The Committee expects to gather enough signatures to qualify to get the measure qualified for presentation to the City Council, and for inclusion on the November 2013 ballot in the coming weeks. A broad array of workers, faith and community supporters, union members and retirees are part of the SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs. Working Washington is also part of the Committee.

The measure would set basic employment standards for workers employed in the transportation, tourism and hospitality industries in SeaTac:

  •  Paid sick leave, to allow workers to care for themselves and immediate family members
  •  More full-time work opportunities for those who need it
  •  Companies that collect automatic service charges, or collect tips on customer bills, must give 100 percent of the service charges or tips to the workers who performed the service
  •  Living wages of at least $15/hour Continue reading

Sea-Tac passengers tweeting from the baggage carousel to support poverty-wage baggage handlers

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New “First class, coach class, poverty class” ads call on @AlaskaAir to #raisethewage as low-wage worker unrest continues at our airport

Beginning this week, Sea-Tac passengers waiting at the baggage claim, smartphones in hand, will see a new ad which enlists them to tweet @AlaskaAir to #raisethewage for baggage handlers and thousands of other poverty-wage workers at our airport.

Standing out from among the more typical airport ads asking passengers to use a particular limo service, stay in a downtown hotel, or support the Gates Foundation, the new “First class, coach class, poverty class” ads — appearing at all 16 carousels — enlist passengers to use their smartphones to tell Alaska Airlines to do something to improve the poverty-class wages and working conditions at our airport. Continue reading

Sea-Tac Ranks Lowest of 5 Major West Coast Airports

New report shows how other airports have raised working standards, lifted up communities

“Below the Radar,” a just-released report from regional think tank Puget Sound Sage, shows that Seattle-Tacoma International Airport arrives last among five major West Coast airports in standards for wages and working conditions.

Thousands of Sea-Tac workers are paid at or near the state minimum wage of $9.19/hour, lagging far behind the airport living wage standards established by other major airports.

– San Francisco: $12.43 – $14.18 minimum

– LAX: $15.37 minimum

– San Jose: $14.71 minimum

– Oakland: $13.45 minimum

“When I load baggage onto an Alaska Airlines flight headed for LAX, I get paid $9.19/hr. The guy who unloads the plane gets paid at least $15.37. It’s the same airline, the same contractor, the same work, the same flight, and even the same bag — but I get paid $5 less. That’s got to change.” — Yoseph Diallo, Menzies Ramp Worker Continue reading