Flight Attendant Union Honors Evolution Of Profession

AFA Celebrates 67th Anniversary of Union by and for Flight Attendants

Washington, DC – The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today celebrated the 67th anniversary of the founding of the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. On August 22, 1945, the dedication of five Flight Attendants, determined to take a stand against unbearable standards where young women were forced to retire at the age of 32, remain unwed and childless, and adhere to strict weight, height and appearance requirements, came to fruition with the creation of the Air Line Stewardesses Association.

“I am very proud of the fact that I have had a role in the foundation of our Flight Attendant union. AFA has flourished from our first five female members to nearly 60,000 women and men at over 20 airlines with bases spanning the globe. Our union began with motivated activists and continues its mission today to advance our profession and our rights at work,” said founding member Edith Lauterbach, who continues her activism today as a proud charter member of the Retiree Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (RAFA).

“Today, 67 years later, we stand on the shoulders of these brave, pioneering Flight Attendants and are inspired by their dedication that has created our union. Over the decades, AFA has paved the way for the advancement of our profession. AFA has worked to defend Flight Attendants’ interests by adding the voice of Flight Attendants to those of government and industry in the regulatory and legislative processes and by negotiating collective bargaining agreements that improve compensation and working conditions,” said Veda Shook, AFA International President. 

Today as we honor our legacy and our founding members, we remain focused on the future and on improving conditions for active and retired Flight Attendants. In a dynamic industry that presents continuous challenges to the Flight Attendant profession, AFA’s work is far from over. As we have for over six decades, we will continue to evolve according to the needs of our members. 

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 67 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. Flight Attendants and retired members 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 and www.rafa-cwa.org.

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