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United Airlines Flight Attendants Ask Congress for Federal Relief for Airline Industry & Workers

Date: March 27, 2003

Will Deliver Thousands of Postcards and Letters from Passengers & Airline Workers

Flight Attendant Interviews Available on Thursday, March 27at 9 a.m. at AFA Headquarters, 1275 K Street, 5th floor Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC – United flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, will deliver thousands of letters and postcards to members of Congress asking them to protect the airlines and airline workers from the devastating financial impact the war with Iraq is having on the industry and its workers.

On Monday, flight attendants collected passenger signatures at airports across the system including Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York La Guardia, Paris, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Additionally, thousands of airline employees have sent letters to their elected leaders asking for federal relief for the airline industry and its workers.

The airline industry is already a casualty of the War on Terrorism. Fuel costs skyrocketed as tensions built in the Middle East, and revenues are down due to fewer people flying because of the increased threat of terrorism during war. One hundred and fifty thousand airline workers have already lost their jobs, and many of those who remain have been forced to take significant pay and benefit cuts to keep their companies afloat. The airlines are predicting another 70,000 job losses and even deeper cuts due to the war in Iraq.

Congress must act immediately to protect the airline industry and its workforce by:

• Reimbursing security costs imposed after September 11,
• Opening the strategic petroleum reserve,
• Repealing the passenger security tax and air carrier security fees,
• Extending the Aviation Insurance Program,
• Providing additional direct economic aid to prevent a collapse,
• Extending unemployment benefits to affected workers,
• Helping laid off families cover healthcare costs, and
• Assisting furloughed employees with job re-training.

More than 50,000 flight attendants, including the 24,000 flight attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world's largest flight attendant union. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.

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