3.21.17 – (LAA/LUS) – Uniform Update –  New Alternative Uniform Option

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APFA Special Hotline

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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New Alternative Uniform Option – LAA/LUS

Shortly after the roll out of the new uniforms in the fall, APFA began to receive reports from Flight Attendants about suspected reactions to the uniforms. In total, since the roll out, APFA has received reports from over 3,000 Flight Attendants. Those reports describe suspected reactions that include rashes, hives, respiratory problems, and endocrine issues.

Simply put, no Flight Attendant should have to wear a uniform that is suspected of causing a health reaction or that causes a Flight Attendant any fear or anxiety about its safety.

Once APFA began to receive reports, we immediately mobilized to bring this issue to the Company’s attention and press them to find a solution. APFA created a web based form so that Flight Attendants could report their suspected reactions to the Union. APFA also sent out uniform pieces for preliminary chemical testing. We have devoted staff and resources to addressing this basic health and safety issue.

In October, at APFA’s insistence, the Company established a Call Center so that any Flight Attendant who is uncomfortable wearing the new uniform can receive permission to wear his/her old uniform or be reimbursed for the reasonable cost of purchasing garments similar to the new uniforms. 

In December, APFA filed a Presidential Grievance seeking a permanent solution to address the problems with the new uniforms.  Since then, APFA has repeatedly demanded and pushed the Company for a permanent, long-term solution.

Today, it appears that APFA’s persistence is paying off. After extensive discussions with APFA, the Company has announced that it will offer an alternative uniform that will be manufactured by a different manufacturer than the new uniforms. This alternative will  be made available to any Flight Attendant who is concerned about wearing the new uniform. This new alternative will relieve Flight Attendants from having to wear their old uniforms or search out uniform-like garments on their own.

The Company’s announcement demonstrates that APFA has achieved an important objective: through its actions, the Company has acknowledged that the new uniforms are an issue that needs to be addressed. The alternative uniform is a positive development, and APFA is hopeful that it will prove to be a meaningful option for Flight Attendants.

But, make no mistake: this new alternative uniform is not enough. It is an interim solution at best. APFA will continue to demand that the Company find a permanent, long-term solution to ensure that all Flight Attendants have confidence in the uniforms that they wear.

In the meantime, as it has done in previous hotlines, APFA continues to encourage Flight Attendants to contact the AA Uniform Call Center to return to wearing their blues if they are uncomfortable wearing the new uniform. If you have disposed of your old uniform, you can still get authorization from the Call Center to purchase articles of like color and style including white shirts, and gray pants or skirts. Regardless of which uniform you are wearing, the newly issued wings and name-tag may be worn.

You also should consider filing an IOD, depending on your personal circumstances, if you have experienced an injury or illness that you suspect is related to your uniform. If you have questions about filing an IOD, you can contact Bellia Peckson at iod@apfa.org.


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