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posted by on Saturday January 07 2017, @11:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the not-a-window-seat dept.

Investopedia reports:

A week after United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) settled a lawsuit over baggage handler workplace injuries, a United worker was locked in an airplane's cargo hold.

The Washington Post reports that the worker spent over an hour locked in an airplane traveling from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C., on the afternoon of Jan. 1. The flight was operated by Mesa Airlines, an airline operating regional feeder flights for United and American Airlines Group Inc.

[...] The worker was unharmed in the incident and told The Washington Post that he was advised by his lawyer not to discuss the incident.

Less than a week earlier, on Dec. 27, United Airlines announced it settled a lawsuit brought by its baggage handlers. The workers alleged more than 600 musculoskeletal workplace injuries between 2011 and 2015.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bradley13 on Sunday January 08 2017, @08:25AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 08 2017, @08:25AM (#450975) Homepage Journal

    This all sounds so silly that I had to do a bit of Google research...

    On the lawsuit: "...baggage handlers at Newark Liberty International Airport often were forced to lift heavy bags or perform other functions while leaning over, twisting or reaching overhead." [go.com] It's hard to tell from the online info, but reading between the lines I expect that some minor issues with the baggage handling setup were exaggerated beyond all reason to enable this lawsuit. For example, UAL also had to pay a fine of $7000 - that's such a laughable amount that there cannot have been any real workplace-safety issues.

    On the baggage-handler taking an unexpected flight: Planes are loaded under time pressure, so this happens: Someone is arranging baggage in the hold; someone else thinks the hold is clear and closes the door. This is where pets travel, so it is not a hostile environment. Cargo holds are pressurized, lit, and heated to at least 40F (4C) [quora.com]. Given that you're in with people's luggage, if you get cold, you can certainly find something to wear. So getting locked in for a one-hour flight may be irritating, but it's hardly a hardship.

    tl;dr: Clickbait

    --
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08 2017, @08:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08 2017, @08:58AM (#450979)

    I have known many techies who were physically soft.
    One wonders how long -you- could do that job before your body quit on you.

    $7000 - that's such a laughable amount

    They got a judgment in their favor.
    Perhaps the precedent was what they were really after.
    It seems likely that a contract was renegotiated or will be the next time around using that precedent.

    someone else thinks the hold is clear and closes the door

    It occurs to me that standard practice would be for the person doing that to say in a loud voice "CLOSING THE HATCH" and waiting a moment before doing it.
    If they aren't already doing that, this should be added to the procedures manual.

    getting locked in for a one-hour flight [is] hardly a hardship

    A writeup I saw said an hour and a half (one way).

    ...and your vision is quite narrow.
    If it's your wife's birthday or your wedding anniversary or your kid is the featured soloist in the band's presentation that night, being hundreds of miles away could be considered a hardship.

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Sunday January 08 2017, @09:25AM

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 08 2017, @09:25AM (#450981) Homepage Journal

      So what is your point?

      The question isn't whether handling baggage is hard physical work. Of course it is. The question is: was the baggage area at this airport set up in a way that endangered the people performing that work? The main result of the lawsuit will be the installation of baggage conveyor belts in a place where they have never existed, in any airport, namely, in the jetways. This is indeed a new precedent, and as such indicates that there was no violation of existing workplace standards.

      Getting locked in the cargo hold: Of course they have procedures for clearing the hold. Working under time pressure, something obviously went wrong. Again, what's your point?

      As for the involuntary trip: The article is attempting to make this sound dramatic. If you read TFA, it makes a point of saying the baggage handler was "unharmed". Other articles emphasize the altitude of the flight, and express doubt about the hold being pressurized. They are doing their damnedest to make this sound dramatic and life-threatening, when it was simply inconvenient. The guy lost half-a-day of time; odds are 50/50 that he was back before his shift would have ended anyway. He has already retained a lawyer to extract a settlement from the airline, because that's what you do in the US.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08 2017, @03:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08 2017, @03:03PM (#451033)

        Yeah, what a jackass. Next think you know he thinks he just deserves his hourly rate for free while he was just sitting on his ass in the cargo hold. What a libtard shit. No wonder he's a baggage handler. He's an idiot. If he weren't a moron, he'd be doing something better for a living. But nope, had to get that women's history degree. NO SYMPATHY HERE!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08 2017, @03:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08 2017, @03:32PM (#451043)

    >This is where pets travel, so it is not a hostile environment.

    Many of the things we regularly do to our pets would certainly land is in prison if done to a human. You know not all animal-lovers (pet owners) actually love animals.