Thursday, January 15, 2009

Open Letter to Airlines

I'm writing to you because you are listed as a customer of Cascade Aerospace.

I am aware that Cascade Aerospace has had several health and safety violations and accidents at their Abbotsford hanger. In fact, their workers are constantly exposed to dangerous chemicals that leave them disoriented and sick *while working on aircraft*. The company has, at times, insisted that they keep working and has fired workers who leave when sick.

This situation was recently profiled on Kathy Tomlinson's Go Public show.

Please don't just read the article and watch the video but read the comments made my previous employees and current employees who are too afraid to leave their names. Note that WorkSafeBC also responded in the comments but did not even get the name of the company correct.

I would ask that you consider switching service providers or contacting Cascade and insisting that they fix the problems at that hangar. Do not believe them when they try to discredit the former employees that were featured on that program. My father, Paul Atton, is one of those employees and has lost everything: his health, his wife and his career. He was an aircraft maintenance engineer and passionate about his work. He was very, very good at it and has always had a high level of integrity.

Now he spends days in bed, sometimes cannot get out of bed in pain. He is homeless but chooses to stay in BC where he can continue his fight against Cascade and where his doctor is, the only one who has been able to get him to a semi-functioning state. However his mind still wanders, he still experiences rages and mood swings and he is half the man he once was. He has been told that he will likely be diagnosed with Alzheimer's in five years.

This is the man who used to bike miles to work in the snow or climb a mountain or rock wall. He learned to snowboard when he was 50. There are days he cannot walk to get the mail.

We grew up around the airport and I love to fly. My daughter few on 18 flights before she was 18 months old. I love the industry.

I hope to hear from you.

Heather Cook

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