Local workers file complaint with OHSA

Workers at a local manufacturer filed a complaint Thursday with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, alleging unsafe working conditions.

The complaint was signed by 22 employees of Creative Foam’s Harrison Twp. plant, according to a document shared by the United Auto Workers union.

Workers at the 3337 N. Dixie Drive facility will vote in a July 28 National Labor Relations Board election on whether to organize under UAW representation.

The complaint alleges chemicals at the plant are not stored properly. Chemicals are stored in tanks that leak, with buckets set up around the tanks to “catch the leaks,” according to a “notice of alleged safety or health hazards” form filed with OSHA.

“Management has not trained us on how to use these chemicals safely and has not clearly communicated to us what the chemicals are or what the potential dangers may be,” the form says.

“Recently, a group of us presented management with a letter asking them to tell us more about the chemicals. They sent us a letter back that said they care about safety, but they didn’t do anything to provide us with real training.”

The complaint also charges that workers at the plant clean chemical spills without proper protective equipment.

Calls to OHSA and Creative Foam’s Fenton, Mich., headquarters were not immediately returned.

The company provides die-cut or formed foams for automotive and medical customers.

“In addition to the health and safety hazards outlined in the OSHA complaint, workers at the Creative Foam plant face wages as low as $8.50 (an) hour and are locked into temp positions with no benefits for up to eight months,” the UAW said in a statement.