Internal emails tell Cleveland City Hall, travelers could be in danger.⠀
We fought for months to get the records. Then, we took a look at what it means to you. Behind the roar of the planes, we found workers at Hopkins crying out for help.
We’ve obtained internal emails sent from workers to top aides of Mayor Justin Bibb at Cleveland City Hall.
One employee wrote, “I am scared. If we had an airline crash, right now, we would not be prepared.”
Another wrote of “discrimination, intimidation, retaliation and bullying.”
And, another wrote of “chaos ongoing at the Airport … a toxic environment.”
Monday, one traveler we met reacted to our findings with, “That is very scary, and I think that the people at the Airport should be listening if the employees are saying something.”
Late last year, the city sent officials to Hopkins to talk to airport employees about their concerns, but we heard many employees also sent emails to city hall. So, in November, the I-Team requested those emails. The city didn’t release them until last week after we had asked, again and again, where are the records?
Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin now plans to ask hard questions at a hearing.
“I’m really hoping the administration looks into the situation out there because no employee, or no citizen, should have to go to work in a toxic environment,” Griffin said.
The council president also said he just traveled through Hopkins, and he heard first-hand the points made in the emails.
One worker wrote “employee morale is low, employee engagement is low, turnover is high.”
“Just talked to random employees and tried to ask, you know, how’s the environment out here? And people, you know, did not have a lot of good things to say,” Griffin said.
We reached out to the former airport director who left last year. No comment.
We got no response from city hall. And, no one from airport management would answer questions from us.
Another traveler we met told us that she feels safe.
But, again, a worker also wrote in an email, “…if leadership doesn’t change, someone might be killed.”
And, another said, “…all I’m asking is that these individuals be held accountable.”
We also sent all of the emails we had received to federal agencies. The Transportation Security Administration referred us back to the city. As of late Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration had not responded.