As reported by Madeleine Ngo for the New York Times
A coalition of labor unions representing tens of thousands of airline industry workers urged the Justice Department to step up its prosecutions of unruly passengers on Thursday.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, the group asked the department to pursue and prioritize prosecutions of people who assault passenger service agents, many of whom have been attacked at airport gates, ticket and reservation areas and other airport locations during the pandemic.
The request comes at a turbulent time for the airline industry, which began to see a spike early last year in violent and disruptive passengers who have refused to follow Covid protocols and attempted to interfere with flight crew.
“The department has not meaningfully pursued federal penalties against individuals who assault or interfere with passenger service agents,” the letter said. It was signed by six labor organizations, including the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s Transportation Trades Department, the Association of Flight Attendants-C.W.A. and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Greg Regan, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s Transportation Trades Department, said he was pleased to see the Justice Department take some steps to address the rise in violent incidents aboard planes, but that more work needed to be done in response to assaults against passenger service agents.
Read more here.