Flight Attendant Union Testifies Before Congress on Combating Sexual Harassment and Assault in the Air

Washington, D.C. (March 19, 2018) — Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) International President Sara Nelson will testify before the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues on combating sexual harassment and assault in the service sector. The hearing, starting at 2:00pm Eastern, will be broadcast on C-SPAN 3.

“Flight Attendants, about 80 percent women, are ongoing victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Not that long ago, the industry marketed the objectification of 'stewardesses,' a job only available to young, single, perfectly polished women who until 1993 were required to step on a weight scale...Even today, we are called pet names, patted on the rear when a passenger wants our attention, cornered in the back galley and asked about our 'hottest' layover, and subjected to incidents not fit for print. Like the rest of our society, flight attendants have never had reason to believe that reports of the sexual harassment we experience on the job would be taken seriously, rather than dismissed or retaliated against,” stated Nelson.

Read Nelson's Written Testimony >

Read Nelson's Oral Testimony >

Witnesses before the Committee:

  • Marie Billiel, Restaurant Worker, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Roushaunda, Hotel Employee, Chicago, Illinois 
  • Sara Nelson, International President, Association of Flight Attendants
  • Victoria A. Lipnic, Acting Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Patricia A. Wise, Attorney, Spengler Nathanson, Former Co-Lead, SHRM Labor Relations Special Expertise Panel
  • Jackson Katz, Ph.D., Founder & President, MVP Strategies

Hearing Details:

Beyond the Headlines: Combating Service Sector Sexual Harassment in the Age of #MeToo
Monday, March 19, 2018
2:00 p.m.
Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues 

Congresswomen Susan Brooks and Lois Frankel, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence and Mimi Walters, Vice Chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues
Congresswomen Barbara Comstock and Jackie Speier


The Association of Flight Attendants is the Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 72 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.


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