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Former Midway Employee May Have Case Against Company

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Agents who load luggage onto Midway planes say they're overworked and underpaid.
RALEIGH — The emotions of one ex-Midway Airlines employee are flying high. Theformer ramp agent says Raleigh's largest airline fired him for trying toimprove working conditions.

Mike Feig says working conditions on the Midway tarmac were unsafe foremployees. He says when he complained to superiors, he was fired. Feig claims faulty equipment and lack of staff compounded problems. ButMidway's managers say they would never compromise safety.

Feig says he brought up a safety concern about using a ladder instead ofbeing hoisted into the belly of an airplane. Feig refused to climb intothe baggage compartment without a ladder fearing injury.

Feig was fired that day -- March 24th. He took his case to theDepartment of Labor, claiming that he was discriminated against forbringing up worker safety issues. Three months later, Feig received aletter. In it, a Labor Administrator wrote:

"An investigation has been conducted, and the results have been carefullyconsidered. It has been determined that there is cause to believe thatyour allegations are true."

Although they won't prosecute the case for him, Labor investigators sayFeig's case has merit. Something Midway leaders deny.

Midway President Robert Ferguson claims Feig is a disgruntled employeewho was fired for a series of reasons which included fraud,insubordination, and a series of other reasons.

But a group of ramp agents, who asked not to be identified, says working conditions are poor, and they're very overworked and veryunderpaid. Ferguson admits conditions on his ramp are less thancongenial.

Ferguson emphasizes that nobody in the company has ever been fired norwill they be fired for bringing up safety issues

Mike Feig says he will take Midway to court to prove otherwise. "I put myfoot down and you fire me," he says. "It's not right."

As a result of Feig's complaints, OSHA investigated Midway. Investigatorsfound seven violations and fined Midway $1,300 dollars. Midway leaders sayall of the violations were minor and the problems have been resolved. Infact, Midway's President says he'll be on the tarmac Thursday to announcea raise for all ramp agents.

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