Alaska Air Group management has been working with operational leaders, third-party safety consultants, labor leaders, workgroup and union representatives, and the uniform supplier (to be announced later) in order to develop a new safety standard for the upcoming custom uniform program. AFA is very pleased to report that management has made a commitment to certify the primary uniform pieces in the custom uniform to an industry-leading safety standard: the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®. (OEKO-TEX® is pronounced “eco tex” like “eco” in “eco-friendly” and “tex” like the first syllable in “Texas”.)
There may be a need and/or desire to source non-custom pieces from a third-party vendor in some instances, in which case the Company will first seek suppliers that adhere to the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) Restricted Substance List (RSL) or another safety standard of equal caliber. Based on all the information we have been given so far, AFA anticipates that the Flight Attendant custom uniform will be composed almost exclusively of pieces certified to the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
AFA and Alaska Airlines management had originally discussed the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® during our investigations into textile sourcing and manufacturing safety resulting from Flight Attendant health concerns with the TwinHill uniform. AFA pushed for adopting the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®, but management deemed the standard as too expensive to achieve at that time. By partnering with the custom uniform supplier, Alaska Airlines is now able to implement this robust safety standard more cost effectively than was previously possible.
Even with the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification, it is impossible to guarantee that all Flight Attendants will remain free from reactions to the custom uniform pieces. In fact, research indicates it is likely that five to ten percent will experience some form of dermal reaction as a result of cutting over to new uniform pieces. However, AFA appreciates that management has taken proactive steps to improve the safety of our uniforms and reduce the possibility of more serious health effects by adopting the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® and the AAFA RSL into our custom uniform program.
Based on behind the scenes progress so far, we are very hopeful the custom uniform program will be well received and the cutover in 2019 will go as smoothly as possible.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Tim Green, Brice McGee; AFA Uniform Committee Chairperson Bob Moore; and AFA ASHSC Chairperson Seth Heiple