Airplane cleaning service employees allege unsafe working conditions at Logan

Logan International Airport. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Logan International Airport. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A group of Logan airport workers spoke out against their employer on Wednesday after claiming concerns about their safety have been ignored.

Workers gathered outside of Logan’s Terminal E to discuss their treatment by the company Swissport, which provides cleaning services and helps maintain airplane restrooms for several airlines.

Swissport workers described being transported in vans with questionable brakes and exposed seat springs that poke them. They also said they are given very little time to clean human feces and blood in airplane bathrooms.

One of those employees, Rosa Sanchez Ortiz, said in Spanish that some cleaning crew members don’t get gloves during a shift because there aren’t enough to go around.

Sanchez Ortiz, who has worked for the company for seven years, said cleaning supplies like mops are hard to come by, and her colleagues are often forced to clean human waste with paper towels or toilet paper. She said the lack of personal protective equipment like gloves is dangerous, especially when handling waste and harsh cleaning chemicals.

Sanchez Ortiz and other Swissport employees said their concerns have been ignored by supervisors for months. The workers have filed complaints with the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Logan’s Swissport employees reached out to the Service Employees International Union for help raising awareness about their working conditions. The union's New England district leader, Dan Nicolai, said the employees have sought information and meetings about their concerns, but Swissport has not responded. “So for that reason workers in the union have filed charges with OSHA,” Nicolai said. “As we understand, [OSHA] is investigating the charges.”

State Rep. Adrian Madaro, an East Boston Democrat, called for the company to support the Logan employees.

“We’re here to really raise the attention on this issue and hopefully bring Swissport to the table so they do the right thing and provide safe working conditions that everyone should be entitled to,” said Madaro.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Swissport said “contrary to these claims, Swissport fully complies with all applicable labor regulations,” and “the health and safety of all our employees is the highest priority for Swissport.”

Similar employee demonstrations about Swissport have taken place at airports in Dallas, Denver, New York and Washington D.C.


Headshot of Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez

Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez Transportation Reporter
Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez is a transportation reporter for WBUR.



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