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Peak Travel Time: Airport Workers Protest Contractor

PHOTO: Airport service workers selected this peak travel time to stage a protest alleging wage theft and safety violations by the contractor ReadyJet. Credit: Wiki Project Aviation.
PHOTO: Airport service workers selected this peak travel time to stage a protest alleging wage theft and safety violations by the contractor ReadyJet. Credit: Wiki Project Aviation.
December 18, 2014

BOSTON - With millions preparing to take to the skies for the holidays, workers rallied at Logan International Airport on Wednesday to call attention to what they see as a "law-breaking" contractor.

Roxana Rivera, director with 32BJ SEIU District 615, says the people who clean aircraft and provide a variety of passenger services are just looking to make a living wage. She says numerous health, safety and wage violation complaints have been filed against ReadyJet, which services some of the biggest air carriers in the region.

"We're basically saying enough is enough," Rivera says. "These workers make close to minimum wage and it's not right for companies to furthermore engage in wage theft and put them in danger of their own safety and health."

Rivera says over the past three years, eight contractors at Logan have been cited for unsafe working conditions. Triple A predicts a one percent growth in holiday air travel from 2013, with an estimated 5.7 million Americans taking to the skies next week through the first week of the new year.

Rivera says air travelers need to voice their concerns to major air carriers about contract work to companies that are guilty of wage and health violations.

"If folks are riding US Airways, JetBlue and Delta; just let folks know that they don't agree with the airlines using a law-breaking contractor named ReadyJet for their contract cleaning and other passenger services at the airport," she says.

The Massachusetts Attorney General ordered ReadyJet to pay $13,000 in restitution to airport workers plus a fine of $5,000 in 2014. The contractor has not commented on the investigation of issues including unpaid overtime and failure to provide breaks for shifts in excess of 10 hours.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA