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Union: Bird Infestation Caused Social Security Office Shutdown

By Laura Bannon
By lbannon@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Complaints were filed of birds chirping in the ceiling, feces around the building and even reporters of employees getting sick to the government employees union.

In a statement from Patti Patterson regarding the Jackson Social Security Office it said, "The Jackson, TN field office is closed (Friday) for repairs to the side of the building near the roof discovered during a routine building inspection. As a precaution we closed the office while the repairs are being made. We expect the office to open on Monday, May 6th."

A routine health inspection of an issue within the building was reported weeks ago by employees.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News spoke with Pete Harris, president of the American Federation of Government Employees and said a problem like this did not develop in one day.

"During a routine health inspection in that office, it was discovered that part of the building was damaged. Birds have been roosting and living. Bird infestation was appearing in the ceiling of the office."

An issue that employees said was ignored by management for weeks.

"Our concern is the employees and public, their safety should be the main concern to the public. It should be the utmost concern to management," said Harris.

One of the biggest concerns is the diseases that birds carry and whether they are able to become airborne.

"The office sees a couple a hundred folks a day who walk through those doors," explained, "A lot of children are there. These people are susceptible to this kind of stuff and even the minor-est infection could be a big deal to them," said Harris.
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