The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has fined Alaska Airlines-contractor Bags, Inc. for failing to protect workers from exposure to blood borne pathogens and body fluids including vomit, urine, feces and blood. In issuing more than $12,000 in fines, L&I cited the Alaska contractor for four serious violations of state health and safety laws, and two general violations. Under state law, “serious violations” are issued when “there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result” if the problem is not fixed.
You can find the full text of the L&I enforcement action here.
Baggage handler, wheelchair agent, and cabin cleaner can be shitty jobs—sometimes quite literally—yet their wages at Sea-Tac Airport have declined 40 percent in real dollars since Alaska Airlines contracted these jobs out in 2005. Workers have repeatedly complained about both wages and working conditions, yet Alaska and its Sea-Tac contractors have consistently turned a deaf ear. That's why over a thousand Sea-Tac workers, most of them earning less than $10 an hour, recently voted to unionize.