WHITE HOUSE AVIATION SAFETY PLAN
FALLS SHORT TRUE WHISTLEBLOWER LAW STILL NEEDED
January 14, 2000, Washington, DC — The White House’s new safety initiative is no substitute for a real whistleblower law, the Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, announced after President Clinton unveiled his so-called "Aviation Safety Action Program" today.
"While any program to improve airline safety must be viewed as a good thing, this new program announced by the White House falls short of the need for a real, unencumbered law that protects aviation workers who report safety problems," said AFA President Patricia Friend.
A hotline, as proposed by the White House, does not provide sufficient protection to aviation workers who report major problems. Aviation employees, including flight attendants, pilots and mechanics, need the strong protections from company reprisals offered by legal whistleblower protections.
The need for real whistleblower legislation is also supported by the Government Accountability Project (GAP), a non-profit organization that provides support to whistleblowers. "Confidential hotlines are a fine start, but if there is a cover-up, genuine whistleblower protection is a necessity," said Tom Devine, GAP’s Legal Director. "Otherwise, employees may risk their professional lives to ensure that the public is safe."
"We will continue to pursue whistleblower legislation in Congress to make sure that all aviation workers have the ability to report safety hazards without fear of reprisals," said Friend. AFA is the world’s largest flight attendant union, representing 47,000 flight attendants at 26 airlines.
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