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United Flight Attendants Fight Harassment by Supervisors, Want Return of Free Speech at the Workplace

Date: November 27, 2001

Los Angeles– United Airlines Flight Attendants will hold a rally on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 8:30 a.m. (PDT), at Los Angeles International Airport, upper level, outside of terminal 7, to fight the harassment by management of a Flight Attendant union leader and to demand that United allow their elected union leaders be allowed to communicate important information at the workplace.

A disciplinary hearing will be conducted later this morning at 10 a.m. (PDT) for LAX-based United Flight Attendant Linda Farrow, President of the Association of Flight Attendants United Airlines Master Executive Council. Farrow is accused by United managers in Chicago of talking with Flight Attendants on June 15, 2001, about important issues that could affect their jobs. Farrow was speaking with the Flight Attendants in a non-work area called the crew lounge.

Union representatives have always used the crew lounge to inform and educate their members, and other unions continue to use the break rooms for that purpose. However, United’s management is trying to strip that right from its Flight Attendants and has begun a campaign of harassment against AFA activists. Thus far, five Flight Attendant leaders have been targeted for harassment and charged with discipline.

United has a decades long record of discrimination against the primarily female Flight Attendant workforce. Weight restrictions, gender discrimination, age requirements that forced Flight Attendants to retire at 32, illegal bans on marriage and on Flight Attendants having children, were all policies adopted and defended by United Airlines over the years.

“You'd think that with all of the financial trouble United claims to have, management would want to work with its frontline employees instead of against us,” said AFA International President Patricia Friend, also a United Flight Attendant. “But then again, this is the airline that for years didn’t think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applied to it, either.”

The 26,000 United Airlines Flight Attendants are joined together in AFA, the world's largest Flight Attendant union. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.

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