In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) was honored for its “pioneering role” in fighting sex discrimination in the workplace at a ceremony this week marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Chicago event was part of a yearlong series of events by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission celebrating the landmark civil rights law.
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday blocked a scheme by Norwegian Air International to fly in and out of U.S. airports while at the same time—through a series of corporate maneuvers—evading Norway’s strong labor and social laws and the airline’s existing collective bargaining relationships with its own employees. DOT’s ruling, said Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD):
The announcement of the proposed merger between American Airlines—now in bankruptcy proceedings—and US Airways has drawn mixed reactions from the AFL-CIO unions, which represent workers at both airlines.
On Tuesday, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) joined with hotel workers for a rally demanding that Hyatt Hotels change a host of practices that the Hyatt Hurts campaign touts as the worst in the United States. More than 100 members of AFA-CWA rallied at Hyatt's headquarters in Chicago, picketing the building and delivering a letter to Hyatt endorsing the boycott.
Edith Lauterbach, the last founding member of the first union for flight attendants, died earlier this week in San Francisco. She was 91. In a statement, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA ) said:
The flight attendant community lost our hero, our guiding light….As our heavy hearts remember our friend and trailblazing founder, we reflect on Edith’s contributions to our profession and our union each and every day.
In New Orleans this Super Bowl week, there are plenty of fans sporting 49ers' red and gold caps and jerseys and Ravens' purple and black gear. But there also are thousands of union members—including many from unions in the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO (GNO)—who proudly display their union label and are making the game possible and the fan experience in the Crescent City run smoothly.
Flight attendants who work for Spirit Airlines filed a lawsuit against the airline for reneging on a contractual commitment to provide equal benefits for all employees by forcing employees who want health care coverage for their domestic partners into a lower-quality health care plan than the plan covering other employees. The flight attendants, members of the Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), said that management is using procedural loopholes to avoid providing equal benefits.
The nation’s flight attendants will gain workplace health and safety protection from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under a proposed new policy announced by OSHA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
While OSHA safety and health standards apply to most of America's workers, airline crews have been under the jurisdiction of the FAA since 1975, when the agency claimed exclusive jurisdiction over workplace safety and health for all crew members when they are on board the aircraft.