Sometimes it feels like I am allergic to working, but at least that is not actually the case, unlike the thousands of American Airlines flight attendants who claim their new uniforms are actually making them ill. NBC News reports that the new uniforms, which were issued in September, are causing a variety of issues, including eye swelling, rashes, skin blistering, wheezing, headaches and vertigo. Sounds bad.
More than 2,200 flight attendants have filed complaints through the Association of Professional Flight Attendants union, which represents more than 25,000 attendants at American Airlines. Flying is already uncomfortable enough that I cannot imagine additionally being constricted by a starchy suit that is trying to ruin my life.
On Wednesday, the president of the union, Bob Ross, wrote a letter to American's general counsel asking them to stop issuing the uniforms. "Personal health is so integral and critical to our Flight Attendant workforce, who must be able to work in a healthy manner and environment," he said. "To do so, our members need proper and safe uniforms." Along with requesting that American issue different uniforms, Ross also asked that the airline give its employees the sick leave they have requested, reimburse them for their medical costs, and launch a $2 million investigation into what is going on with the faulty uniforms.
Since receiving the initial complaints, the airline says they've conducted three rounds of testing on the old uniforms and the new ones, as well as the packaging that they come in. Sounds a lot more in-depth than the "smell tests" I usually conduct on my own clothing.
But apparently this isn't a new issue for American Airlines. In 2012, the company was the subject of a class action lawsuit that was filed after a similar complaint that the uniforms the flight attendants were being forced to wear were making them sick. What weird poison are they coating their clothing with? Hopefully the union can force American to comply to their demands, so that their employees can continue to do their already physically taxing jobs.
Anyway, remember when being a flight attendant used to be glamorous? Me either. Seems like no matter how classy I dress, flying all ways makes me feel farty and bad. Bless the men and women who put their bodies through this on a regular basis and now have to wear evil uniforms sent to destroy them.