Flight Attendants Condemn Attacks on Our Rights

WASHINGTON, DC (May 3, 2022) — Yesterday, POLITICO reported the Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court. The Court confirmed its authenticity on Tuesday. Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson released the following statement: 

"The Constitutional right affirmed by the court in 1973 to safe access and the legal right to an abortion was transformational for women's rights and our jobs. Cabin crew fought executives who exploited our sexuality and pushed gender inequality to undermine the dignity of our work and push the value of our labor into their own pockets. We organized to define our careers, keep our personal choices as our own, and lift up our role in saving lives as aviation’s first responders.

"Choice and self-determination are at the foundation of why we formed our union 75 years ago. In the earliest days of commercial aviation, we were allowed few choices in the workplace. Every part of our bodies and our lives were dictated by management. Airlines only hired white, single, childless women under age 32 who met specific height, weight, and male defined appearance standards. Even if you met those "standards," getting pregnant, having a baby, choosing to marry or gaining a few pounds meant giving up your job and handing in your wings. Our first demands as a union were seniority-based scheduling, to stop managers from using schedules to coerce us to choose between sexual exploitation and earning a living.

"Today anyone with the heart of a Flight Attendant can choose this career, and through our unions we have a voice and legal standing on the job to protect our rights.

"Not everyone will make the same choices, and AFA's members hold a wide range of personal beliefs about the topic of abortion. But the right for each of us to make our own choices about our jobs, our bodies, and our futures is fundamental. That includes the right to protect safe, legal options to anyone who seeks reproductive healthcare. As union members, we understand democracy in our workplaces and in our public square. Americans overwhelmingly support safe, legal abortion. This is not just a radical assault on our rights and settled law, it is an attack against the majority of this country and the ideals upon which it was founded.

"The Justices who wrote this draft opinion —will not stop here. They will work to strip Americans of other freedoms we have fought for. They will strip the freedom to marry from our LGBTQ colleagues and neighbors. They will strip away our rights to birth control. They have already gutted the right to vote, and our right to fair elections free of corporate influence. Our union will continue fighting for equality and freedom for all.

"We call on airline management to stand with us and for equality, anti-discrimination, and mutual respect. It is not enough that corporations espouse these principles as core to their missions - now is the time to demonstrate this commitment to their employees and passengers. This is about our safety and our freedom. We cannot work if we are not safe."

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