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AFA-CWA Sets Out Initiatives For FAA Reauthorization

Date: March 22, 2007

Washington, DCThe Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) today testified before the House Aviation Subcommittee on issues concerning flight attendants' that need to be addressed in the upcoming reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

"Flight attendants, as first responders in the aircraft cabin, have a unique perspective on a number of the safety programs of the FAA," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "Unfortunately, the FAA has repeatedly failed to take action on several fronts that would improve the overall safety of the employees that work under its jurisdiction."

Issues that have been repeatedly ignored by the FAA include flight attendant fatigue, workplace safety and health protections, cabin air quality, and carry-on baggage requirements.

For more than 30 years, AFA-CWA has pleaded with the FAA to address workplace safety and health protections. Flight attendants suffer numerous occupational injuries and illnesses while working aboard commercial flights at rates several times higher than those for all private industry workers, yet are not covered under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. In spite of these facts, the FAA has repeatedly refused to take any significant action to enforce standards protecting the occupational safety and health of flight attendants since claiming exclusive jurisdiction of the workforce in 1975.

"In light of the continued stonewalling on the part of the FAA, we believe that it is time for Congress to force the FAA to relinquish the exclusive jurisdiction over flight attendant workplace safety and health," testified Friend.

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill.  More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come 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 (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org. 

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