Celebrating Linda Farrow

Celebrating Linda Farrow

February 1, 2019 — Yesterday, AFA celebrated Linda F. Farrow, who gave 47 years to all of us across the industry as she faithfully fought for us and helped build our career. We are so grateful to all who worked to make this such a beautiful event for family, friends, and all of us who learned so much from Linda.

Linda devoted her professional life to AFA and our members. We don't think we've ever compared a Flight Attendant to a Marine before, but the US Marine Corps has a motto, Semper Fi. It means always faithful. You would think the Marines have a motto like 'Always tough' or 'Always strong' or 'Always ready' because they are all of those things, and so is Linda. But the Marines and Linda recognize that their greatest role, no matter what the trials and troubles we have faced, is to always be faithful. That to us is what defines Linda Farrow.

Through leaving ALPA to establish AFA, through deregulation, through three rounds of ESOP negotiations and countless rounds of Section Six bargaining, through strikes and CHAOS mobilization, through mergers both at United and within our own Union, Linda has remained always faithful. Every AFA president, every MEC president, every local member, we all knew we could always count on Linda.

Linda began her career with United Airlines in 1968 when our profession was marked by many job restrictions and Flight Attendants had few of the contractual protections that are now in place. Linda has filled many Roles through her work for AFA including grievance chairperson, local council president, MEC president, and the list goes on and on.

Linda served as a negotiator for AFA on a variety of subjects, and she worked tirelessly on the hard fought battles over age, gender, ethnicity and weight discrimination, helping us dismantle the discrimination that was so prevalent in the early years of a Flight Attendant career.

During her term as MEC president, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 shook our profession and our Union. Linda's steady leadership, always faithful, guided United Flight Attendants through the dark days that followed the tragic loss of our flying partners on United Flights 175 and 93 as well as our colleagues on the two American Airlines Flights lost that day.

Throughout her years of dedication, Linda has fostered and encouraged opportunities for our members to get involved in our Union, leading by example. Linda's many years on the AFA Board of Directors taught many of us how to be a delegate to the Union's highest governing body. A fixture at the floor microphone in countless board meetings, Linda often took charge of the debate with the simple phrase, "I'm confused."

Now, we know Linda, and we don't want to reveal her secrets, but you can take our word for it, she's never confused. In her honor, we believe we should retire the phrase "I'm confused" the way professional sports teams retire an extraordinary player's jersey.

Linda, we will be always faithful to the example you've set.

Linda responded to receiving the Ada Brown Greenfield Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 with this:

“To say that I'm honored, I am, truly honored to be standing here before you today and I have to say, Thank you, AFA. But for AFA I would not have been able to have had a career as long as I have had; but for AFA and being able to represent every flight attendant I came across, those were the joys of my life. I say thank you and I want each of you to always remember you are the ‘U’ in Union. Thank you.”

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