Cleaning Planes is Hard Enough Without Safety Problems and Rushed Schedules

By Inola Graham
While you are sleeping I work though the dead of night on the graveyard shift cleaning aircraft cabins. My name is Inola Graham, and I work for DGS.

On the day shift, the cabin cleaners do a quick turnaround cleaning – important work to ready the cabin for the new passengers. But on the graveyard shift my crew and I do what is called deep-cleaning. I am constantly stressed and rushed to do a thorough cleaning of the entire plane from top to bottom in only 45 minutes.

It is a stressful job and managers don’t give us enough time to do a thorough cleaning of the entire plane. We are rushed and rushed and often I am forced to work for more than 5 hours without a break, food or drinking water. The air conditioning is off during the graveyard shift and the heat in the plane is stifling. Our equipment is in poor repair, electrical vacuum cords are taped together and spray bottles of cleaning fluid leak onto our faces and arms when we clean the overhead compartments. Can you imagine working while your arms are being burned by chemicals?

We work hard to make passengers comfortable and the cabins sanitary. Big companies like Alaska Airlines profit from my hard work. We should be treated with respect and make a living wage.

Reprinted with permission from It’s Our Airport.

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