Pittsburgh FedEx employee claims COVID-19 precautions aren’t being taken seriously - even as workers test positive

PITTSBURGH — A FedEx employee is blowing the whistle on safety concerns at the company’s facility in Pittsburgh.

Lisa Salicrup, a dispatcher, told 11 Investigates COVID-19 precautions are not being taken seriously, even as more workers continue to test positive.

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Desperate for help

Salicrup has worked at the FedEx Ground North Pittsburgh station for 2.5 years and was afraid she could lose her job for speaking out, but was desperate; and felt like she had no other choice to get someone to do something.

“It’s just scary and it’s frustrating,” she said. “Basically, I just want to be safe.”

Salicrup says she’s been complaining for months about a lack of safety precautions at the facility. She sent 11 investigates several pictures to show her concerns.

They included employees not wearing masks, food left out in the breakroom for everyone to touch, and sanitization stations, which are supposed to have masks and sanitizer, but were empty.

“Everything that’s been going on with the cases surging, and it just seems like this station, in particular, isn’t doing anything to help stop the spread. It’s almost like it’s a joke to them,” Salicrup said.

Salicrup says she has a history of asthma, and is especially concerned about being exposed to drivers who come in from other states and don’t wear masks. As a dispatcher, she often deals with drivers up close up at a sliding window to get their paperwork.

“We’re getting packages from all over the states, especially New York, which is one of the hot zones right now. And package handlers have tested positive,” she said. “Three to four package handlers tested positive and two administrators up front (in her building), that I know of.”

Employees Testing Positive

11 investigates contacted FedEx with Salicrup’s concerns. The company confirmed some employees have tested positive, but would not say how many or where.

FedEx spokesperson Meredith Miller said the company would decline to provide someone for an interview, but said in a written statement:

“When there is a confirmed case in one of our facilities, we take all necessary precautions and follow guidance from public health organizations related to reporting and containment of the virus, which includes verbally informing team members, service providers and vendors in the building.”- FedEx Spokesperson, Meredith Miller

Salicrup, however, says the company has not been transparent and maintains she was not notified when employees in her building tested positive.

“People are testing positive and the company is trying to keep it on the down low,” she said.

She told 11 Investigates, while she believes employees who test positive have been told to quarantine, others who work closely with them still come to work.

“It scares me because if someone tested positive and there’s another person who was in contact with them-- who know with the virus the way it is-- it can just spread easily.”

Possible Safety Risk

With so many people receiving FedEx packages these days, Salicrup says she’s also worried about customers.

“These handlers are handling holiday packages, personal packages. and if they’re infected they go on the truck and they get to your house,” she said.

Studies show coronavirus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours. As for how transmissible that is, the CDC says it is low risk, but still possible.

“It’s just scary and it’s frustrating, especially for a big company like FedEx. I feel like they should definitely be doing more.”

FedEx statement also said in its statement: “The safety and well-being of our team members and customers is our top priority and we take these allegations very seriously.” Scroll to the bottom of the article for the full statement and follow-up questions.

Seeing Action

Since 11 Investigates first contacted FedEx last week, there have been some developments.

Salicrup says FedEx District Human Resources Manager Darren Messier told her today that he would talk with managers at the Zelienople North Pittsburgh station to make sure safety protocols are being enforced.

She says he also told her that replenishing masks and hand sanitizer would be “an easy fix”; and the facility has since put out more sanitizer and masks.

Salicrup says she just wishes they would have been more responsive when she first complained back in October.

“I just want to make sure we’re taking the necessary safety precautions to keep everybody safe,” Salicrup said.