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Association Of Flight Attendants Launches Online Petition To Keep Dangerous Items Off Planes

Date: December 21, 2005

Leaveallbladesbehind.com collects more than 1,000 signatures overnight

Washington, DC - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) has launched a public, online petition to stop the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) partial lift of the prohibited items ban.  The petition is available at www.leaveallbladesbehind.com.  On Thursday, December 22, TSA will begin to allow scissors and small household tools back into the aircraft cabin.

"TSA's new provisions will put flight attendants and passengers at risk every day," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President.  "The prohibited items list is an integral layer in making our aviation system secure and it must remain in place.  We encourage the American public to express their outrage at this decision by signing our petition.  We need to let TSA know that the safety and security of the traveling public must not be sacrificed."
Yesterday on CNN, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended TSA's decision.  The agency was formed to address questions of terrorism, he said, not non-terrorist threats aboard aircraft.

"TSA is trying to narrowly define terrorism in order to bypass their responsibilities," said Friend. "Terrorists look for loopholes and weaknesses in security in order to inflict their damage and TSA's actions open those loopholes and invite disaster.  We need to continue to strengthen airline security, not sacrifice one aspect for another."

AFA-CWA has been working with several members of Congress in introducing legislation that would bar TSA from removing any items currently on the prohibited items list.  In order for that legislation to be passed, Congress needs to know that the general public cares about this issue.  AFA-CWA's online petition, www.leaveallbladesbehind.com, gives citizens the opportunity to voice an opinion on the issue and to sign a petition opposing the TSA's decision.

75 Years of Safety & Service: 60 Years of Unity
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the flight attendant profession and the 60th anniversary of the Association of Flight Attendants.  More than 46,000 flight attendants join together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.

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