Union Calls For Safety Investigation Into Menzies Ahead Of Alaska Airlines' Shareholder Meeting

ANCHORAGE, Alaska--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As investors gather for Alaska Airlines’ annual shareholder meeting in Anchorage, AK, public safety advocates informed investors of safety issues at one of the company’s major ground contractors, Menzies Aviation.

In a letter to CEO Brad Tilden, SoCal COSH and SEIU, United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), alerted the company to dangerous safety lapses following the death of a ramp worker at LAX. They also called for an investigation into whether the company’s ground services vendor, Menzies Aviation’s safety record breaches Alaska’s Vendor Code of Labor Standards.

The letter, signed by SoCal COSH coordinator, Jorge Cabrera and SEIU-USWW Secretary Treasurer, David Huerta, pointed to the “reputational and operational risks” to the company posed by Menzies’ safety records, which includes:

  • Three workers killed at work at LAX since 2006, including that of Cesar Valenzuela, who was killed driving a vehicle that had no safety restraints.
  • Menzies workers at LAX reported as far back as 2012 that many of the company’s tugs lacked seat belts and, in some cases, functioning brakes and fuel gauges.
  • In 2013, Menzies' LAX operation was fined almost $95,000 for numerous health and safety violations, including two "serious" violations and one "willful serious" violation
  • In 2012, two former Menzies workers in Portland won a $332,000 settlement against Menzies; the workers had alleged the company fired them in retaliation for having filed a health and safety complaint that resulted in citations being issued against the company by a state agency.

To read the letter to the airline, click here.