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Barbara “Dusty” Roads

Barbara “Dusty” Roads

Flight Attendant’s Union Leader

Barbara “Dusty” Roads is a former flight attendant who fought against the airline industry’s sexist working conditions and regulations. Dusty was hired as an American Airlines stewardess in 1950. In 1953, her employer insisted on a contract clause that all stewardesses hired after Dec. 1, 1950 would be fired at age 32; the rule soon became an industry-wide standard. Dusty called out the rule as gender discrimination and urged her union, ALSSA (Airline Stewards and Stewardesses Association) to fight against it. After serving as contract negotiator and Chair of the Los Angeles base of ALSSA, Dusty was appointed ALSSA’s national Washington D.C. lobbyist in 1958. As a lobbyist she testified at hearings about airline safety, training, certification, and unfair age regulations. She befriended Rep. Martha W. Griffiths and Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, who both supported her cause. In 1963, Dusty’s efforts led to an early attempt at writing a bill to repeal the age rule. Dubbed “The Old Broads Bill” by Congressmen, it failed. In her next move, Dusty and other stewardesses held a press conference to protest the age policy. It captured national media attention and a debate on the airlines’ intentions ensued.

In 1965 Dusty entered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) agency the day it opened and, filed the first anti-discrimination complaint in the United States on behalf of her colleague, Jean Montague. After a three year EEOC fight, the age regulation was finally overturned under threat of a union strike in 1968. In 1977 Dusty helped form a new independent union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which remains the largest independent union in the country. She retired at age 66. Now in her late eighties, Dusty continues to promote the need to protect hard fought employee rights that are in jeopardy today. Several books on the history of the women’s movement cite her contributions and she has been featured in many radio and TV programs, including an episode of the original PBS Makers documentary.  http://www.makers.com/dusty-roads
 

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

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