Workers declare victory for workplace safety after complaint and state inspection
A group of workers at the Hilton Anchorage grew concerned last spring whether possible exposure to mold while working at the flagship downtown hotel could potentially impact their health.
Some of them lodged a complaint with the State of Alaska Occupational Safety and Health office last May, which opened what turned out to be a five-month inspection.
Over the ensuing months, AKOSH conducted three separate mold sampling protocols that “indicated the presence of mold to varying levels of count,” according to a December 12 letter the office sent to the union that represents Hilton Anchorage workers. AKOSH issued citations in December 2014, alleging violations of workplace safety laws focused mainly on hazard assessment and protective equipment.
Finally, earlier this month, the Hilton Anchorage settled the citations with AKOSH. The settlement lightened the citations and penalties, while containing a limited non-admissions clause, but the hotel agreed to correct the alleged violations as modified by the settlement.
“The people at the Hilton Anchorage want to do their jobs right,” said Marvin Jones, president of the union. “We commend the State for doing a thorough inspection and taking this issue seriously.”
Employees at the Hilton Anchorage have been asking potential guests to boycott their own hotel for the past six years because the company will not agree to a fair contract. The boycott is ongoing.
Learn more about the worker complaint, safety inspection, and final agreement at www.moldreportak.org.