SEATAC, Wash. - A local labor group says workers at Sea-Tac Airport are routinely exposed to safety hazards, including hazardous materials like toxic chemicals and human waste.
The group Working Washington says the state Department of Labor and Industries has launched an investigation in the "mass complaint" that includes a lack of proper safety training. Working Washington is holding a news conference Thursday afternoon.
An L&I representative confirmed the agency is conducting workplace safety and health inspections at Aircraft Service International Group and DAL Global Services.
The inspections started this week after the complaints were filed, said L&I representative Elaine Fischer, adding that it would likely be a couple of months or more before the final report is in.
In a news release, Working Washington said more than 50 airline contract workers including cabin cleaners and fuelers have experienced "abusive and dangerous working conditions, exposure to biohazards, faulty equipment, inadequate training, and other violations of state and federal safety laws."
Some workers said cleaning chemicals are eating holes in the gloves they use.
They said they've been denied appropriate safety equipment, including goggles and facemasks. One worker was too scared to ask for those things because the boss gets "nasty."
Others said they are routinely denied bathroom and water breaks.
In response to an inquiry overnight, Working Washington sent KIRO 7 Eyewitness News more information, specifying contractors DGS, AirServ, ASIG, and Bags Incorporated in connection with the complaints.
Some of the same workers, who are not in a union, made news in October, when they threatened a strike against ASIG, a jet refueling contractor at Sea-Tac that does work for Alaska Airlines and other carriers. The company got an injunction from a federal judge, and there was no strike.