CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Workers are demanding American Airlines keep them safe on the job after an employee was killed at Charlotte Douglas back in August.
"As foggy as my memory may be, we've never held a hearing on this subject before and it's long overdue,"
The flights come in and out, bags loaded and unloaded, but those doing the heavy lifting says not enough is being done to protect them.
"On the night of August 11, 2019 the worst possible thing happened when my coworker Kendrick Hudson died on the job at Charlotte he was only 24," said Donielle Prophete, passenger service agent at American Airlines subsidiary Piedmont and Vice President of CWA Local 3645.
Hudson was a Piedmont Airlines worker. He was driving a vehicle known as a tug when he hit a piece of luggage.
"Kendrick did not see the baggage until it was too late, likely because the bag was dark and there was insufficient lighting on the tarmac,” Prophete said.
The tragic accident caused the vehicle to flip, pinning him underneath and killing him.
"We also have concerns about the stability of the tug had the tug been more stable like the newer model the tug might not have flipped over," said Prohphete.
She says safety concerns were raised well before Hudson’s death, but never addressed.
"Our local union had repeatedly raised concerns about inadequate lighting with piedmont management," Prophete said. “Our wish is that the investigation will result in much-needed improvement and prevent anyone else from dying on the job."
Chris Harrison with Airlines for America says these operators make it a priority to have appropriate guidelines in place to ensure employee’s safety.
"Airlines take great effort to comply with state and federal laws," he said. “Safety is our number one priority. It’s a continuous process to make things better.”
Profit says the laws really needed to keep them safe don't exist yet.
“OSHA doesn’t have a heat standard. It doesn’t have a lighting standard. There's gaps in the laws,” she said.