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May 20, 2013 (EULESS, TX) – The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions, representing nearly 90,000 Flight Attendants, reacted today to statements from the Gabriel Gomez campaign that questioned the leadership of Congressman Ed Markey on issues related to national security. In the opinion of Flight Attendants, the first responders on board airplanes and the aviation system’s last line of defense against acts of terrorism, Mr. Markey’s record is clear.
Following the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, Mr. Markey authored and championed legislation that guaranteed screening of 100 percent of the air cargo on passenger planes. Standing up to moneyed interests in order to pass this legislation was courageous, and it certainly made Mr. Markey enemies, but it was the right thing to do.
Mr. Markey has also taken on the administration time and again when it comes to a common sense approach to aviation security. He has led a legislative effort in recent months to prevent the Transportation Security Administration from allowing knives into the airplane cabin for the first time since the attacks of 9/11.
As flight attendants, we remember all too well the terrorist attacks that forever changed our nation. The crews working the flights that were hijacked on 9/11 were our friends and colleagues and they were the first casualties in the war on terrorism our nation continues to fight today. Those of us based in Boston on that day also remember a man who walked into our crisis center at Logan Airport without any press or fanfare to offer his help and to guide us through an extraordinarily difficult and tumultuous time. He has since honored the victims of those attacks with words and actions, including at least eight votes in Congress. Mr. Markey was, is, and will always be a leader that puts the safety and security of the American people first. To suggest anything else is as cowardly as it is misleading. We call on Mr. Gomez to retract his campaign’s statements and to refrain from further politicizing the attacks that took so many of our nation’s loved ones and so much of our innocence.
ABOUT THE COALITION: The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions coordinates on issues of mutual interest to Flight Attendants. Members of the Coalition are the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Transport Workers Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
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