Cargo workers at O'Hare Airport have filed nearly 100 formal complaints about health, safety issues

Ahead of the Thanksgiving travel surge, cargo workers at Chicago's O'Hare Airport are speaking out about their work conditions. 

Swissport cargo workers have filed nearly 100 formal complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Those complaints include, "faulty vehicles, extreme heat issues and run-down equipment" that puts workers at risk. 


According to the employee union, the city of Chicago has charged Swissport over 70 times this year for breaking rules and regulations. 

The union also states that since 2015, Swissport has been investigated by OSHA 34 times.

Todd Lindamood, Sr. Vice President of Human Resources at Swissport, released the following statement: 

The health and safety of all our employees is the highest priority for Swissport, and our best-in-class record demonstrates this. Industry data over several years has shown that Swissport has a much lower rate of lost time injuries – approximately one third lower than competitors. 

Swissport has an industry-leading safety management system with demonstrated high standards of safety in our operations, which utilize technologies such as Aircraft Distance Protection System to keep our team safe. We also strongly encourage and support reporting of possible safety issues, regardless of whether those concerns ultimately prove to have no foundation.

In the spirit of collaboration, Swissport Cargo Services, LP presented the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) with a Labor Peace Agreement (LPA) in October 2022 that would cover Cargo operations at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport should both parties agree on the terms.  

The LPA would ensure labor peace and allow the SEIU unopposed access to organize the workforce at Swissport Cargo Services at O’Hare. The LPA we signed complies with the requirements of the operating permit issued by the Chicago Department of Aviation, and Swissport is committed to be in full compliance with all requirements of its operating permit in Chicago. 

We fully support our employee’s right to choose Union representation under applicable U.S. labor law and believes in the process of secret ballot election to let employees make that choice for themselves.