MEDFORD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Employees at Medford City Hall and their union are filing a complaint against the city over what they're calling "filthy conditions" that are putting their health at risk.
The complaint alleges the city hall building has unsafe working conditions, including things like black mold, asbestos, exposed electrical wires, standing water, and pests both alive and dead like rats and cockroaches. Elections Coordinator Sandra Burbine-Gale joined Teamsters Local 25 in filing the complaint with the state Department of Labor Standards.
Burbine-Gale told WBZ's James Rojas she spends a lot of her time in the city hall basement as she prepares for next month's primary elections and the conditions are starting to take a toll on her health.
"I have several allergies to mold and I have to test voting machines," she said. "What's under these bandages is the result of scratching all night."
She said she's not the only one who is having issues though.
"People that are my age that work in this building are getting sick," Burbine-Gale said. "You have young people who are afraid about the long-term effects of breathing this garbage in."
The mayor's office said in a statement it was alerted about possible mold issues in the basement earlier this summer and that they contacted environmental consultants to look into the conditions. The consultants then suggested the basement undergo more testing and investigations to properly asses the mold and other health hazards.
"We are in the process of contacting mold and asbestos remediations companies to solicit quotes on safe removals," the statement reads. "We recognize how serious of an issue this could present to our employees and the general public and are prioritizing a swift and effective remediation effort."
Justin Wright is a parking clerk at City Hall and he said he complained to the city about the issues with the building earlier this year.
"I told them about the problems about how nasty it was in April," he said. "It shouldn't take that long, until the union gets involved, for them to start doing something."
WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.