After years of discussion and speculation, Alaska Airlines management has announced the launch of a new brand identity. As part of the rebranding, management has discussed the intent to produce a new “custom” uniform. The production of a custom uniform can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months from initial approval. This means that Flight Attendants will continue to wear the current “interim” uniform for the foreseeable future.
New Ties and Scarves Developed By Management With NO AFA Input
Because a custom uniform is still in the design phase, management has made the decision to produce and issue a new tie and scarf to all uniformed employees to include new brand elements in the mean time. This new piece has been designed and developed exclusively by management, without any input from the AFA Uniform Committee or the AFA Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC), despite contractual language requiring them do to so. The new piece is not being produced by Land’s End, but by a different vendor whom AFA has not had the opportunity to vet or review. Additionally, we have been given no information about the safety standards employed by this new vendor or any fabric testing performed on these new pieces.
AFA Not Allowed To Wear Test The Final Product
The AFA Uniform Committee has a long history of working with management to wear test new uniform pieces and accessories. Wear testing allows working Flight Attendants the opportunity to trial new uniform items in a real-life environment. Uniform and Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee Members are able to evaluate fit, function, comfort, and possibly discover whether the combination of fabrics, dyes, and other garment components used will cause adverse reactions. This testing increases the chance that the final uniform will meet our needs and is safer to wear.
In the case of the new uniform scarves and ties, management declined to give AFA the opportunity to conduct a full wear test of the final uniform product. Management instead offered the committees the chance to wear test uniform “blanks”, solid color ties and scarves that did not contain the actual mix of fabric and dyes that Flight Attendants will be expected to wear onboard the aircraft. AFA was told that a wear test of the actual ties and scarves was not possible because it was important that the new pieces remain a surprise for employees and the design not be leaked to the public. Because a test of anything other than the final product would not effectively determine how those actual pieces would react to our work environment, the Uniform Committee and ASHSC declined to participate in a test of “blank” pieces.
We feel that it is important that you are aware that AFA has not participated in the production or design of these new pieces.
If you have any questions, please contact your Local Uniform Committee.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Gesch, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Sandra Morrow, Stephen Couckuyt, MEC Uniform Committee Chairperson Bob Moore and MEC ASHSC Chairperson Seth Heiple