Hello, this is APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake with a special Labor Day Message to our members.
Many Americans probably think of Labor Day as a long weekend, a holiday, or just the end of summer. Airline employees immediately think of full airports and planes, and missed family picnics. For those who are represented by labor unions, we pause to reflect on the history of the labor movement and what it means to thousands of working women and men in this country.
The Flight Attendant profession has had its share of struggles, and, through the voice of labor has been able to make significant strides in history. Here are some of the enhancements that can be attributed specifically to our profession:
- The elimination of forced early resignation (Age discrimination)
- The right to marry and keep our job
- The right to be parents and remain on the job
- The right for men to work as flight attendants
- Elimination of archaic appearance standards (Weight discrimination)
- FAA certification
- The right for female flight attendants to choose our own hairstyles, makeup and to wear uniform pants…and for men to have moustaches and beards.
We must stand together as strong as ever as we continue to protect any further attempts at eroding our work rules, wages and benefits. Unity sometimes sounds like just another catchword unions use, but its meaning holds the very key to the future success of the labor movement.
The fight for a fair contract is no longer between hourly worker and corporate management. Future struggles will be fought between unions and their employer, the government, the judicial system due to the bankruptcy process and/or consolidation, or globalization.
Let us all commit to one unity of purpose: to protect and preserve work rules, wages and benefits and to recoup losses labor has suffered both in numbers of members and in the eroding of our collective bargaining agreements.
Now please stay on the line for the rest of the APFA Hotline…