- Our AFA Uniform Committee Chairpersons met on Tuesday, August 2 to discuss their ongoing program of work to represent Flight Attendants interests related to uniforms.
- The Committee also met with management to receive updates and discuss issues and problems that Flight Attendants are reporting related to uniform quality, wearability, and availability.
- If you are experiencing any issues with uniform quality or construction, please report the issues to Unisync as soon as possible. Please include your Local Uniform Committee Chairperson on the email so they can help track any issues or trends that might be developing.
On Tuesday, August 2, our AFA Local Uniform Committee Chairpersons met to discuss their ongoing work to represent our Flight Attendants and push for improvements in our workplace. Representing you at the meeting were Kim Mazzolini (ANC), Dena Heath (SEA), David Jelinek (PDX), Lisa Mueller (SFO), and Heather Milner (LAX). Also present were MEC Uniform Committee Chairperson Todd Scarlett; MEC Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC) Uniform Safety Representative Deb Wallstrom; and MEC Vice President Brian Palmer. The committee met with Uniform Programs Manager Ashlyn Pham, Uniform Fit Center Lead Ashley Sentner, Senior Marketing Product Delivery Manager Kelly Cuthill, and PDX Base Manager Kristie Stafford from management.
Topics of Discussion
The committee reviewed a number of items both during internal AFA-only conversation and when meeting with management. Some items discussed include:
- Feedback from the recent wear test of a new prototype warm weather shirt. Some Uniform and Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC) Members tested the new prototype recently. The Committee also put forward a request that any new warm weather shirt be permitted to be worn with either pants or the skirt.
- Expanded timeframe of when the patriotic tie and scarf can be worn. Management recently announced allowing the neckwear pieces to be worn on additional dates surrounding Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day rather than just the holidays themselves.
- Request to remove the policy requirement that uniform shoes have a defined heel. Management agreed to further review the request but would like examples of shoes that would meet appearance standards with no defined heel.
- Review of the accommodation process for Flight Attendants who are medically unable to wear shoes that meet uniform policy guidelines. Current process is to initiate a request for exemption through a base supervisor.
- Concerns with availability of navy colored shoes in the marketplace (due to seasonality and supply chain issues) and request to expand color options to be worn with feminine uniform pieces. Management says that they have recently updated the Zappos shoe portal with additional style options and will be working with Zappos to request that more items be made available year round.
- Discussion about plans for upcoming gender neutral uniform pieces. Management has held some employee focus groups and will continue to hold additional focus groups as the pieces progress through the design process.
- Request to designate certain existing pieces as gender neutral until specific gender neutral uniform pieces are available.
- Concerns that the policy requiring that hosiery be worn with the uniform skirt and dresses is outdated. The Committee brought forward a recent policy change at American Airlines that removed the requirement to wear hosiery and requested that management make changes to match.
- Request for a packable, insulated jacket that provides more substantial warmth than the transition jacket in a similar form factor.
- Request for clarification about the winter hat policy.
- Ongoing uniform quality issues. Management indicates that they are not receiving much feedback about quality issues and concerns. The Committee brought forward issues with the current process of submitting feedback, how it is not user friendly for Flight Attendants, and that many problems are likely not being reported.
- Ongoing request to review the current process for Flight Attendants to provide feedback related to uniform pieces. The requirement to compose an email to Unisync is not consistent with how Flight Attendants report issues in other areas and is unnecessarily cumbersome. The Committee suggested that management develop an online form that could be easily accessed using a dedicated link on the IMD.
- Concerns with product shortages and items that are backordered for extended periods of time. Management states that the shortages are due to supply chain issues as well as greater than expected hiring of new employees that they did not project for.
- Concerns with new hire Flight Attendants not be provided with effective training and support regarding uniform policies and guidelines during Initial Training.
- Ongoing concerns with product shortages and items that are backordered for extended periods of time.
The committee is next scheduled to meet with management on Tuesday, November 1, 2022.
What The Committee Is Working On
- Cold Weather Improvements. Working to expand policies and improve uniform pieces in anticipation of upcoming cold weather months. This includes advocating for improvements to the uniform boot policy, a warmer packable jacket, and clarification of the winter hat policy.
- Simplification of Uniform Policies. Advocating for an overall simplification of company uniform policies through clearer guidelines, removal of excessive or unrealistic restrictions, and other common sense changes.
- Streamlining the Uniform Feedback Process. Working to develop an easy-to-use, online form that Flight Attendants can use to provide feedback about uniform issues and concerns that automatically routes to management, Unisync, and our AFA Uniform Committee.
We Want to Hear From You!
Please help our Uniform Committee by taking the time to email Unisync at email@example.com with any quality issues you are experiencing. When sending an email, please describe the issue with as much detail as possible and include photos if you can. Please CC your Local Uniform Committee Chairperson on the email so that the Uniform Committee can track the issues as well.
Do you have other feedback for the committee or items that you’d like brought up with management? Please let us know! Your Local Uniform Committee is your voice to management. You can find our contact information on the Uniform Committee page of the AFA Alaska website.