The battle over mold

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The battle over mold

Ironton Tribune – Sheagley and Hanna said they would use every avenue available to make sure employees at the Ironton office have a safe and healthy workplace.

“We’re going through our congressman. We’re going through the senators. We’re doing our grievance process within the agency. We’re also going to file with the Federal Labor Relations Authority an unfair labor practice,” said Hanna. “We are also encouraging our employees, who are private citizens and taxpayers too, to file a presidential inquiry on the White House website.”

Before Sheagley and Hanna toured the Ironton office last week, they said they were met with some resistance, even though they were contractually allowed to be there as members of the union. Having plans to file a group grievance with the union workers, they wanted to take photos as evidence to support their claim.

“We were not allowed to take pictures in the office,” Hanna said. “Chicago has refused us permission. Not only are you keeping people in there, you are also limiting our ability to represent them and get them out of there.”

The two had invited Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Bill Johnson to tour the office with them, but were told they had to file a request with the regional office in Chicago.

“When you start seeing emails that come from the regional commissioner’s office saying that local politicians are not allowed to come into the building unless they get hold of the public relations office in Chicago, that’s unheard of,” Hanna said. “I’ve never, ever heard of them trying to keep any type of politician or elected official or anything like that (out).”

Brown and Johnson were permitted to tour the facility, but due to scheduling conflicts, they were unable come to Ironton.

Danielle Nemeth, field representative for Brown, has been involved with the situation since last year.

“I went down there last fall and I was just amazed at how much mold there was in the building,” she said. “They described the situation to me but nothing prepared me for actually going in the building… Our office has been involved in contacting GSA on behalf of the employees to try to get something done about the current situation.”

Brown agreed that something had to change.

“It’s unacceptable for Ohioans to risk their health and safety simply by going to work each day,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “These workers deserve fair treatment and I will continue to work to ensure safe conditions for the employees and the public.”

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