Airline Passengers And Flight Crews Gain Ground In OSHA Protection


  Bookmark and Share

Airline Passengers And Flight Crews Gain Ground In OSHA Protection

By Mike Mitchell

February 23, 2011 - Members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) put key U.S. Senate offices on speed dial in a successful call-in campaign to press for long-overdue health and safety protections.

On Thursday, the Senate defeated an attempt to strip OSHA protections for Flight Attendants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill.  

The amendment to remove health and safety protections for Flight Attendants and passengers, including sanitation and temperature standards in the aircraft cabin, was rejected by a 52-47 party line vote.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) voted in opposition of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill presented on the Senate floor. 

?I have taken to the floor over the past week to discuss with my colleagues my disproval of this legislation. I disapprove not of airline safety or safe work conditions for airline employees, but rather the damning effects its price tag will have on our nation?s rising debt. The amendments I attached to this bill required my colleagues to consider cutting spending, ending gifts to Big Labor, and preventing unnecessary regulation in planes.? 

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) spoke on the floor of the Senate to oppose an amendment that would undermine flight crews? job safety, along with an amendment that would prohibit collective bargaining by Transportation Security Administration employees.  

?The last thing we need to do is take a step backward and make working people even more vulnerable than they are today. But that?s exactly what the Wicker (Senator Roger Wicker R- Mississippi) amendment and the Paul amendment would do for two groups of very dedicated people ? flight crews and transportation security officers ? who work every day to keep us safe when we travel,? Harkin said. 

?No sanitation standards in the passenger cabin.  Really???? said Veda Shook, AFA International President. ?It is not funny.  To date, OSHA has been kept out of the aircraft cabin and that means Flight Attendants and passengers are subject to an environment absent sanitation standards, temperature standards and proper procedures for clean up of biohazards.


?This is inexcusable and our union of Flight Attendants will not rest until we get the OSHA protections for passengers and crew.  We applaud the Senate for taking this action today and we implore the House to act quickly to include the same provision in their version of the bill.?  

For Flight Attendants, each day on the job brings potential exposure to turbulence, severe air pressure changes, unwieldy service carts, broken luggage bins, balky exit doors and door handles, exposure to toxic chemicals, unruly passengers, communicable diseases, and emergency evacuations. As a result, safety and health violations occur on a daily basis for Flight Attendants yet the Federal Aviation Administration, which claims exclusive jurisdiction over the safety and health of crew members on civil aircraft, has failed to extend basic OSHA protections afforded to other workers across the country.  

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, the Senate for passage of the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (S.223), which will help create jobs and modernize the air traffic control system. A modernized air traffic management system will improve operational efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and lower airline operating costs. ?This bill moves the United States toward our goal of enabling a safe, sustainable and profitable airline industry that provides good value to customers and promotes global competitiveness,? said ATA President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.


?We applaud the leadership and significant work to pass a bill that reflects a continued commitment to safety and modernization of the air traffic control system by requiring that FAA establish and track performance metrics.? 

House Republicans reject safety and health protections for flight attendants and passengers. The Association of Flight Attendants has already begun a targeted grassroots advocacy campaign to implore members of the House to include the health and safety provisions for Flight Attendants and passengers.  The FAA Reauthorization bill has been extended 17 times over three years, delaying critical safety and health protections for Flight Attendants and the traveling public.

Other News Stories


Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ?AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator