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Workers Memorial Day 2024

Every April 28 on Workers’ Memorial Day we mourn for workers who were killed on the job and we renew our commitment to fight together for safe working conditions to prevent work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses. All workers, including Passenger Service Agents, deserve the right to a safe job and safe workplace.

Join us as we remember two CWA Local 3645 members, both Piedmont Passenger Service Agents, who died on the ramp in preventable workplace accidents.

On the night of August 11, 2019 at the Charlotte Airport (CLT), Kendrick Hudson was driving a tug on an insufficiently lit, very dark area of the tarmac when he hit a piece of baggage he did not see which should not have been there. CWA Local 3645 and its members were actively involved in the lengthy investigation conducted by the NC Department of Labor (NC OSHA). Piedmont was found to have violated health and safety standards and was fined. Piedmont fought the citations and eventually signed a settlement agreement with the NC DOL.

Courtney Edwards died on the job on December 31, 2022 at the Montgomery Airport (MGM). She was a Ground Handling Agent for Piedmont Airlines. The Embraer 175 aircraft she was working, which was parked at the gate, had one engine running because of an inoperative auxiliary power unit (APU). The engine was spooling down after the Ground Power Unit (GPU) was connected. Unaware of the immediate danger, Courtney was pulled into the rotating blades of the engine as she passed too close to the engine ingestion zone and was killed instantly. OSHA found Piedmont never conducted comprehensive training for agents about the deadly dangers of engine ingestion zones. After the fatality investigation, OSHA fined and cited Piedmont for not providing a safe workplace. OSHA found the lack of effective training, communication on the ramp, and clear instructions from supervisors contributed to Courtney Edwards's preventable death. Piedmont has fought the citation and the case will be tried by a judge at the OSHA Review Commission, expected in July 2024.

Here is what you should know and how you can remember Kendrick Hudson and Courtney Edwards as We Fight for the Living and for Safe Workplaces:

  • Take a moment of silent solidarity with your co-workers on April 28th to think about and remember Kendrick Hudson and Courtney Edwards. If you would like to mark their remembrances individually around the time of their deaths, for Kendrick Hudson that would be between 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. and for Courtney Edwards that would be between 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • You deserve to be safe from passenger rage and violence. Report incidents of passenger verbal and physical assault to your supervisor and call the airport police for assistance and to document the incident.
  • Talk to your co-workers about safety concerns and work together to bring these concerns to your supervisor or Station Manager. This is collective action. You can also bring your concerns to your local union steward and your local union leadership.
  • Get involved in health and safety activities, like a health and safety committee. You can speak to your local union leadership about how to do this or about forming a union health and safety committee.