PHOENIX – At least 70 American Airlines ground crew workers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport have tested positive for COVID-19 as of April 27, including four that required hospitalization, according to union officials. The numbers are expected to climb as individuals from the 1,000-member “below the wing” crews continue getting tested.
The first case at Sky Harbor was reported to the airline on April 8; within 10 days, that number was up to 20, according to Donald Carbonneau, president of Sky Harbor Lodge 2559, the local chapter of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) union that represents portions of American Airlines’ fleet services employees and other airlines at Sky Harbor.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Sky Harbor airport are unknown.
AZCIR interviewed nearly a dozen American Airlines employees and union representatives, obtained internal company memos and emails, and reviewed hundreds of posts and comments on a private employee Facebook page detailing concerns among employees about the airline’s response to COVID-19 at Sky Harbor. Employees other than those representing their colleagues in unions declined to be identified because it violated company policy and they feared retribution for discussing company business.