Win on health and safety for US aviation unions

February 25, 2011

US aviation unions have successfully fended off attempts to undermine health and safety on board aircraft.

A telephone campaign by members of the ITF-affiliated Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) and a letter to US senators from Tom Buffenbarger, president of of the International Association of Machinists led to the defeat in the US Senate on 18 February of an attempt to strip health and safety protections from the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill. The call-in campaign by union members to key US Senate offices argued the case for the long overdue Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protections for cabin crew and passengers. The amendment to remove the protections for cabin crew and passengers, including sanitation and temperature standards in the aircraft cabin, was rejected by a 52-47 party line vote.

“No sanitation standards in the passenger cabin. Really???” said Veda Shook, AFA international president. “It is not funny. To date, OSHA has been kept out of the aircraft cabin and that means flight attendants and passengers are subject to an environment absent of sanitation standards, temperature standards and proper procedures for clean up of biohazards. This is inexcusable and our union of flight attendants will not rest until we get the OSHA protections for passengers and crew.”

She also applauded the Senate for taking this action and implored the House of Representatives to act quickly to include the same provision in its version of the bill.

Go to article in the ITF website

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