SEATTLE – A preliminary injunction has been issued by Federal District Court Judge James L. Robart restricting the right of airplane fuelers who are part of the Airport Service International Group to go on strike.
“Our fight for safety and fairness at Sea-Tac will continue,” said Leon Sams, an airplane fueler at Sea-Tac airport in Seattle. ”We’ll continue to pursue all lawful options not prohibited by the injunction, because this decision doesn’t do anything to make our working conditions safer.
“Have no doubt,” said Sams, “we will completely comply with the injunction, but we’re going to continue to stand up for safety and respect at Sea-Tac.”
The injunction is an early step in the legal process.
Fuelers employed by ASIG are responsible for fueling most of the aircraft at Seattle’s largest airport. They have repeatedly raised serious concerns about workplace safety and fairness with their managers; with Alaska Airlines, the largest carrier that hires ASIG to fuel its planes; and with the Port of Seattle, the public agency that oversees the airport.
Instead of fixing faulty trucks, broken ladders, and leaking fuel nozzles, the company retaliate against employees who raised workplace safety issues. Then the company took the unusual step of filing a lawsuit against its own employees.
The aircraft fuelers and their supporters are considering next steps, including appealing the court’s decision.
Here are some of the safety & fairness concerns raised by the airport fuel technicians: