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Unsafe working conditions at LAX lead to possible retaliation

Los Angeles employees have a right to safe working conditions when they are on the job. This is not only important for the employees themselves, but also for the public they are serving. California employment law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for speaking out against unsafe working conditions.

Recently, two members of the Los Angeles City Council along with the Service Employees International Union have spoken out about the working conditions at Los Angeles International Airport. According to the councilmen, service employees at LAX are subject to unsafe working conditions, poor training and unsatisfactory oversight by the contractors responsible for them.

Those employees affected include custodians, baggage handlers, wheelchair operators and security guards. One report claims that up to 40 percent of LAX service employees questioned have admitted to suffering an injury while on the job. These injuries have included a cargo worker being hit by a vehicle and cabin cleaners contracting fungus under their fingernails.

Furthermore, according to the vice president of SEIU, these employees fear that they cannot speak up about the unsafe working conditions. The employees are afraid that if they complain or report these conditions, they will lose their jobs or will be transferred to different shifts.

While community members are supporting these LAX employees and ensuring that they are not retaliated against for speaking out about the poor working conditions, many Los Angeles employees are not as fortunate. These employees are also entitled to a safe work environment without fear of retaliation. An experienced advocate can be the voice for employees who have been retaliated against and can help conditions improve for those employees and their coworkers.

Source: The Daily Breeze, "L.A. councilmen warn LAX air carriers over poor conditions for workers," Art Marroquin, April 25, 2012

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