For Immediate Release
COALITION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS COMMENDS TSA FOR KEEPING KNIVES OFF PASSENGER PLANES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 90,000-strong Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions today celebrated the success of its campaign to keep knives off planes and commended the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for holding the line against weapons on flights.
“We promised ‘No Knives on Planes Ever Again,’ and today that promise was kept,” the Flight Attendant Coalition announced. “Terrorists armed only with knives killed thousands of Americans on 9/11/2001. As the women and men on the front lines in the air, we vowed to do everything in our power to protect passengers and flight crews from harm and prevent that type of atrocity from happening ever again. We commend the TSA for revising its policy based on input from front line aviation workers with the greatest stake in the rule change. The result is better security policy and the assurance that our nation’s aviation security system continues to be vigilant for knives that could be used in a terrorist attack or criminal act against passengers or crew.”
Five unions representing 90,000 Flight Attendants from across the industry quickly mobilized after the TSA announced plans on March 5, 2013 to allow knives with blades up to 2.36 inches long back onto aircraft cabins for the first time since 9/11. Knives in the hands of terrorists or mentally ill or drunk or drugged passengers would have posed a clear threat to everyone in the air and in airport secure areas.
On May 6, 2013, each of the coalition unions representing Flight Attendants joined with TSA screeners, pilots, law enforcement officers and airline passengers to file a legal petition to the TSA against the rule change that would have permitted knives in the aircraft cabin. Administrator John Pistole demonstrated leadership and sound judgment by responding to this petition and other stakeholder feedback. Today, the Administrator has determined that knives will remain on the official “prohibited items list” governing what airline passengers may carry on their persons or in carry-on bags onto planes.
The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions was quickly joined by organizations representing virtually everyone else potentially affected by a new knife policy, including TSA security officers, pilots, gate agents, federal air marshals, and airline passengers. The Flight Attendants thank the American Federation of Government Employees representing TSA Security Officers, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, FlyersRights.org, the nation’s largest organization representing air travelers, the Coalition of Pilots Associations, the United Airlines chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association, the families of Betty Ong, Sara Low and Alfred Marchand as well as Airlines for America, the trade association representing U.S. Airlines
The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions was quickly joined by organizations representing virtually everyone else potentially affected by a new knife policy, including TSA security officers, pilots, gate agents, federal air marshals, and airline passengers. The Flight Attendants thank the American Federation of Government Employees representing TSA Security Officers, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, FlyersRights.org, the nation’s largest organization representing air travelers, the Coalition of Pilots Associations, the United Airlines chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association, the families of Betty Ong, Sara Low and Alfred Marchand as well as Airlines for America, the trade association representing U.S. airlines.
Flight Attendants also wish to thank Members of Congress from both parties for their crucial support. House Homeland Security Members Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) were instrumental in pushing for a process that would include input from aviation stakeholders. Congressmen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) led the charge against knives in the aircraft cabin by introducing the No Knives Act of 2013 within days of the policy announcement. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), the late Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) co-sponsored the “Keep Knives Out of Our Skies Act.”
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Media Contacts: Corey Caldwell, AFA, email@example.com; Anthony DeMaio, APFA, firstname.lastname@example.org; James Carlson, IAM, email@example.com; David White, IBT, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jamie Horwitz, TWU, email@example.com.
The Flight Attendants Union Coalition coordinates on issues of mutual interest to Flight Attendants. Members of the Coalition are the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and Transport Workers Union (TWU).
Dear Flight Attendants,
Approximately 1 year ago, your MEC posted an informational guideline for those flight attendants experiencing health related issues due to the TwinHill uniform titled, “Your Uniform, Your Health”. Since then many of the policies and procedures have changed and so we are providing you with an updated version. (Please see below).
Approximately 6 weeks ago we posted the most current statistics obtained from responses to the multiple surveys and questionnaires that we sent out to those of you with reported adverse reactions to the TwinHill uniform. At that time the total number of reported cases was 597. Just 6 weeks later the number has risen to 652. That’s 55 new cases in 6 weeks! (Please see below for updated statistics).
AFA leadership and members of the Uniform and Safety, Health and Security Committees are working with management to procure a new uniform as quickly as possible. However, the projected rollout date is not until Fall 2014.
If you believe you are experiencing an adverse reaction to the TwinHill uniform, please follow the guidelines provided in “Your Uniform, Your Health”.
Additionally, if you would like more detailed information and references you can click on:
This will take you to AFA International’s Air Safety, Health and Security Department website.
May 27, 2013
Dear Flight Attendants,
Early this morning, a male passenger was arrested in Portland for interfering with flight crew after he allegedly attempted to open an emergency exit row window during descent on flight 132 from Anchorage to Portland. The attempt was unsuccessful as the locking pins for the next generation aircraft window exits were still engaged, and the passenger was ultimately restrained by passengers and crew. The Association praises our Portland- and Seattle-based Flight Attendants for their professionalism under pressure. This incident has made national headlines so we expect there to be increased media attention for the next few days. Please remember that Flight Attendants should not make statements to the media and should refer all inquiries to Alaska Airlines Corporate Communications.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Terry Taylor, Yvette Gesch, Melanie Buker, Laura Masserant and Sandra Morrow
“Five Bases, One Voice”
Alaska’s World May 27, 2013 “Passenger arrest: FBI detains man after he tries to open emergency exit inflight” (login required): http://splash.alaskasworld.com/NEWS/2013/05/27_passenger_arrest.asp
May 24, 2013
Dear Flight Attendants,
AFA has updated a summary of the 60 years of bargaining history between Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants and management. Many thanks to former MEC President Kelle Wells for her assistance in getting this information up to date! A printed copy of the booklet is currently being distributed to the bases, so you can expect them to be available starting next week. An electronic version is linked below and posted on www.alaskamec.org under the ‘Contract’ tab. We hope you will find the content educational.
Your Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Tracy, Karina Cameron-Fetters, Jake Jones and AFA Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo
“Five Bases, One Voice”