More than 400 Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have reported significant health issues while or after wearing uniforms issued by management.
Most reports describe skin symptoms – rash, hives, redness, or itching – while a growing number indicate abnormal thyroid functions, hair loss, eye irritation/inflammation, fatigue, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, and asthma.
Shortly after Alaska Airlines management issued new uniforms to the nearly 3,000 Flight Attendants in 2011, AFA began receiving reports regarding health issues of crewmembers while on duty. AFA quickly suspected that the uniforms were responsible and began extensive testing. Results from scientific analysis on the uniforms indicated that several pieces of the uniforms contained detectable levels of an allergenic dye.
“For the safety and health of Alaska Flight Attendants, we are demanding that management work with us to immediately recall these hazardous uniforms and issue new pieces that are safe alternatives and not harmful to crewmembers and our families,” said Jeffrey Peterson, AFA Alaska President. “Because management is unwilling to recall the uniform at this time, the union has filed a contractual grievance alleging management’s failure to provide a safe and healthy work place. We will continue to press management to do the right thing, but AFA will put this dispute before a neutral arbitrator if necessary.”
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA