Flight Attendant Union Honors Life And Legacy of Founding Member Edith Lauterbach
February 5, 2013
Washington, DC - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
(AFA) issued the following statement today after the passing of AFA’s last
remaining founding member, Edith Edna Lauterbach:
“Today, the Flight Attendant community lost our hero, our
guiding light - Edith Lauterbach. As our heavy hearts remember our friend and
trailblazing founder, we reflect on Edith’s contributions to our profession and
our union each and everyday.
“After being hired by United Airlines in 1944, Edith was a
motivated activist who quickly began questioning Flight Attendant safety, wages
and working conditions. By 1945, after joining forces with four Flight
Attendant colleagues, the first union organized, run and controlled by women
was founded. And for nearly seven decades, her role and involvement in our
union has been invaluable to hundreds of Flight Attendant leaders and an
inspiration to countless activists.
“Edith’s legacy to our profession still touches each and
every Flight Attendant across the country. In 1952, she assisted in the
creation of Federal regulations for Flight Attendant safety and evacuations.
Her advocacy helped establish an evacuation process that serves as a basis
“Her devotion to collective bargaining rights resulted in
improving the lives of Flight Attendants through AFA negotiated contracts. In
addition to increasing Flight Attendant compensation, Edith was instrumental in
getting rid of the mandatory 32-year-old retirement age and was the first
Flight Attendant to celebrate 40 years at an airline.
“The evolution of the Flight Attendant profession and the
legacy of Edith Lauterbach go hand in hand. Today, as we do every day, we pay
tribute to our friend whose fearlessness and devotion to advancing rights at
work, paved the way for thousands of Flight Attendants and will continue to be
a shining beacon for many to come.”
The Association of Flight Attendants is the world¹s
largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues,
AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67
years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the
aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the
Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working
conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight
Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong
Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.