WASHINGTON, DC – Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), made the following statement opposing Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) amendment to strip safety and health protections for flight attendants from S. 223, the pending aviation reauthorization bill:
“Sen. Rand Paul seems to believe that flight attendants, of all people, are undeserving of basic safety and health protections. The Senator’s amendment to eliminate flight attendant safety protections is discriminatory. It sends a clear message that it’s OK to single out flight attendants and leave them unprotected from unsafe workplaces in the aircraft cabin.
“Since 1970, American workers have benefited from workplace safety protections provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Because the FAA has never used its authority over flight attendant workplace safety, the most basic occupational safety and health standards have not been applied or enforced for decades. The Senate’s aviation bill will provide a mechanism to apply workplace health and safety protections for flight attendants.
“Sanitation, air quality, temperature and humidity levels, noise, and blood borne pathogens on airplanes are just a few of the hazards that have gone unchecked for too long. Flight attendants have an on-the-job injury rate that is far higher than the national average. And remember, flight attendants aren’t the only ones on aircraft – millions of Americans fly every day and they will benefit as well from enforcement of safety standards.
“Senator Paul’s amendment to discriminate against flight attendants should be defeated.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.