Flight Attendant Union Celebrates Nearly 70 Years of Dedicated Service to Evolving Profession

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today celebrates the 69th anniversary of its formation. AFA International President Sara Nelson issued the following statement:

“AFA is where it all began. On this day sixty-nine years ago, Edith Lauterbach and fellow United Flight Attendants Ada Brown Greenfield, Francis Hall, Sally Thometz and Sally Watt Keenan were successful in organizing the first union of Flight Attendants, the foundation from which we have achieved amazing victories for equality, workplace health and safety and contracts that define our work as aviation's first responders.

“For nearly 70 years Flight Attendant advocates have organized to be sure that we have a meaningful voice in aviation. We beat back age, gender, and weight discrimination. We took on Big Tobacco and won to achieve no smoking on our flights. We set minimum standards for staffing and improved cabin safety regulations. And we took the lead on promoting domestic partner benefits. It's not that we've come a long way - we've shown the way!

“More recently we have achieved recognition for Flight Attendants in TSA’s Known Crewmember alternate screening program and secured OSHA health and safety standards in the cabin. We succeeded in keeping knives out of the aircraft cabin and we are currently working to ensure terrorists cannot use mobile broadband technology to coordinate attacks. We continue to press forward on our careers as we negotiate our contracts.

“We especially appreciate our Flight Attendant union as we try to make sense of the tragedies such as Malaysia Flight 17. We organize to multiply our best qualities and support each other through even the most challenging times. Together we find the strength to move forward and turn our pain into action in order to honor our flying partners and advocate for law, policies and procedures that keep Flight Attendants and the traveling public safe.

“Today we celebrate our history and look forward to what will be achieved by this generation’s membership of the Association of Flight Attendants, aviation’s first responders.”

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for nearly 70 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 60,000 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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