3Oct/160

United Airlines manager to employees: “it would be difficult to prove” United was removing asbestos

Marty Watters, Investigative Reporter

IMG_1351.PNG

In direct response to a recent article published by Illinoispaytoplay.com, United Airline's facilities manager Sylvia Empen recently called a mandatory meeting of employees at the airlines former World Headquarters (WHQ).

During the meeting, Empen told the very same employees who were forced to participate in the removal of asbestos without their knowledge that "it would be difficult to prove" that United has been removing asbestos from that facility.

IMG_1430.PNG

Difficult to prove? Really?

Aside from those employees who were forced to remove asbestos, many others actually walked into the areas where unskilled day laborers were illegally removing asbestos and got a face and lung full of the known carcinogen.

Wait, it gets even more ridiculous than that.

Empen then went on to explain to these eye witnesses that her belief that "it would be difficult to prove..." was based on the fact that the 68 invoices that authorized payment of over $1.1million to A&E Services, Inc. to remove asbestos at the WHQ say "insulation" and not "asbestos".

Considering that asbestos IS insulation, Ms. Empen apparently thought that the employees did not know that.

However, much to Empen's dismay, the United employees were not about to tolerate her latest batch of lies and were not shy about telling her so.

They also proceeded to remind Empen that everyone at United knew that A&E Services, Inc. had been removing asbestos.

One of those employees, Jane Clifford, who had asbestos fall on her head due to the illegal removal, went as far as to tell Empen that it is "fraud" to claim that A&E was not removing asbestos.

IMG_1312.PNG

Empen responded "that's between OSHA and A&E" and that is not her concern.

--------------------------------------------------
From: Marty Watters
To: Sukhvir Kaur (OSHA)
Cc: Angie Loftus (OSHA)
Sent: September 7, 2016 at 2:37 PM
Subject: Fwd: United claims no asbestos removal

United Airlines manager caught lying to OSHA in asbestos case
illinoispaytoplay.com/2016/08/31/united-airlines-manager-caught-lying-to-osha-in-asbestos-case/

------ Original Message ------

From: Jane Clifford (United Airlines)
To: Marty Watters
Sent: November 11, 2015 at 8:11 AM
Subject: Re: United claims no asbestos removal

That's a lie

On Nov 10, 2015, at 10:55 AM, Marty Watters wrote:

Jane

United Airlines is now claiming that A&E Services did no asbestos removal from the campus in Elk Grove where you work.

Call me.

Marty Watters
[redacted]

-----Original Message-----

From: Marty Watters
To: Jane Clifford (United Airlines)
Sent: October 7, 2015 at 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: OSHA Investigative Findings Letter and Notification of Citations

Jane

You have a right to see the the asbestos surveys and the records of any work done in that area.

United Airlines must provide that information.

Marty Watters

-----Original Message-----

From: Jane Clifford (United Airlines)
To: Marty Watters
Sent: October 7, 2015 at 4:52 PM
Subject: Re: OSHA Investigative Findings Letter and Notification of Citations

What concerns me is not just this but also in core 5 of south bldg. you know what happened to me as you provided me the log sheet where the event was written. What are my rights? How do I know A&E abated that area properly?
----------------------------------------------------

Something tells me it is likely that United's attorneys will soon be applying duct tape to Sylvia Empen's mouth.

Bit of advice, Ms. Empen: Pull that tape off your mouth in one swift motion when the FEDS come calling.

It will be a lot less painful for you that way.

31Aug/160

United Airlines manager caught lying to OSHA in asbestos case

Marty Watters, Investigative Reporter

Sylvia Empen

Sylvia Empen

Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials Sukhvir Kaur and Angeline Loftus recently confirmed that United Airlines facilities maintenance manager Sylvia Empen lied to OSHA officials, and that by doing so Empen broke the law and could face criminal charges.

And as with many federal cases, it could be the cover-up that ultimately lands people in jail.

And for her part in the illegal removal and dumping of asbestos from buildings at United's former World Headquarters (WHQ), jail might be just where Empen is headed.

 DOJ Stresses Individual Accountability in New “Yates Memo”

Enhanced Criminal Prosecutions of Worker Safety Violations – Employers Beware

Here are the facts:

Empen contracted A&E Services Inc. to remove asbestos from United's former WHQ.

A&E Services hired Mexican day labor on an ongoing basis to illegally remove and dump the asbestos.

In doing so A&E exposed United employees and the public to vast amounts of airborne asbestos fibers.

IMG_1312.PNG

IMG_1314.PNG

United employees then filed an official complaint with OSHA.

Ms. Empen told OSHA officials who were investigating that complaint for the record that A&E Services was removing fiberglass insulation and not asbestos.

Now thanks to whistleblowers at United, OSHA officials have learned that A&E Services was in fact removing large amounts of asbestos - not fiberglass insulation - from United's former WHQ, and that Empen lied to them during the investigation.

IMG_1313.PNG

Thanks to Empen's lies, OSHA prematurely closed its investigation. As a result, United employees and members of the public are still being exposed to airborne asbestos fibers throughout the entire campus of United's former WHQ.

It has also been established in recent meetings with OSHA officials that during their interviews with United employees, OSHA investigators did not inform the employees of their whistleblower protection rights.

That will be very important moving forward due to the fact that United employees have since endured physical threats and retaliations at work for telling OSHA investigators and United management what they knew about the illegal asbestos removal.

Steps are now being taken to ensure that United employees begin receiving the workplace protections that they are due under the federal whistleblower protection laws.

Furthermore, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon has been informed of this situation and has even received a referral from the New Jersey U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate these developments due to concerns that United has violated the Non-Prosecution Agreement it entered into in a public corruption case with that office.

The question now is: How high up the United Airlines management chain does this cover-up go?

Oscar Munoz, does the buck stop with you?

IMG_1310.PNG