- Our AFA Human Rights Committee Chairpersons met on Monday, November 21, to discuss their ongoing program of work to advance human rights within our workplace and community.
- The Committee also met with management to receive updates on what progress has been made on concerns that had been previously brought forward and address new concerns that have come to light.
- If you have ideas, thoughts, or feedback for the committee, your Local Human Rights Committee Chairperson would love to hear from you!
On Monday, November 21, our AFA Local Human Rights Committee Chairpersons met to discuss their ongoing activism to build awareness and effect change within our workplace and community. Representing you at the meeting were Matt Cook (ANC), Yan Yan Teague (SEA), Sylvia Newbill (PDX), Melissa Osborne (SFO), and Louise Borras (LAX). Also present were MEC Human Rights Committee Chairperson Chip Hestle and MEC Vice President Brian Palmer. The committee met with Vice President of Inflight Matt Prainito, Managing Director of Inflight Operations Michaela Littman, Seattle Director of Inflight Base Operations Jenny Bookert, San Francisco Base Manager Cierra Lewis, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist Sarah Keimig, and Managing Director of Labor Relations Carmen Williams from management.
Topics of Discussion
The committee reviewed several items during internal AFA-only conversations and when meeting with management. Some items discussed include:
- Members of management’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) team have started visiting stations, beginning with a visit to PDX last week. The Committee did not receive direct notice from management that visits were going to be taking place and requested that management coordinate with the Committee going forward. The next visit will be to ANC on December 9.
- Representatives from the Committee will participate in the 2023 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference in January in Washington, DC.
- Conversation about how management’s DE&I team can better connect with Flight Attendants. The Committee recommended that DE&I make improvements by working more collaboratively with the Committee, as it is made up of Flight Attendants who represent our work group. Additionally, the Committee requested that management actively include them when communicating about upcoming events and activities sponsored by DE&I or the Company’s Business Resources Groups (BRGs).
- AFA International has started holding monthly conference calls of Human Rights Committee members from across our Union to share information and coordinate activities.
- Concerns about availability of emergency healthcare for pregnant employees in locations where regulations may impose limitations on healthcare providers. Management assured that, if necessary, they will facilitate the relocation of an employee to another state to facilitate treatment based on the recommendation of Global Lifeline.
- Reports of some passengers traveling between certain city pairs seeming to be in need and lacking a clear plan or assistance upon arrival at their destination. Discussion was had about what resources might be available to assist these passengers that Flight Attendants could offer. Both the Committee and management will review available community resources that might be available.
- Upcoming plans by management to introduce gender neutral uniform pieces. Although management has started work on the process, there is no interim solution, and Flight Attendants are still required to select from specific pieces labeled masculine or feminine. The Committee requested once again that management allow Flight Attendants to wear the pieces that fit them best without regard to program labels. In conjunction with the AFA Uniform Committee, the Committee has offered to engage in further conversation with management to develop a plan for implementation.
The committee is next scheduled to meet with management on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
What The Committee Is Working On
- Developing a Framework for Diversity & Inclusion Listening Sessions. Discussing proposed plans with management to have our AFA Human Rights Committee facilitate sessions in each base that would allow Flight Attendants to discuss diversity and inclusion topics and concerns with management. Conversations are ongoing, and a preliminary version of the plan is currently under review.
- Building Relationships with the Company’s Business Resources Groups (BRGs). Continuing to work to establish relationships with leaders of the Company’s BRGs to find areas where we can join together to advance human rights within the scope of each group.
- Advocating for Expanded Access to Uniform Pieces for All. Continuing to work with the AFA Uniform Committee to remove gender-based limitations on uniform items and allow all Flight Attendants to wear the pieces that best fit them as an individual.
We Want to Hear From You!
Do you have feedback for the committee, concerns you’d like to share, or items you’d like brought up with management? Please let us know! Your Local Human Rights Committee is your voice to management. You can find our contact information on the Human Rights Committee page of the AFA Alaska website.