The Flight Attendants Union Coalition (FAUC), representing 100,000 Flight Attendants at carriers nationwide, today announced their collective endorsement of the re-election of President Barack Obama. In an unprecedented step, the coalition is calling on its 100,000 members, to the degree possible, to set their flying schedules between now and the election in order to maximize their time volunteering for the Obama-Biden ticket.
Coalition members are: The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Transport Workers Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The coalition said that under the Obama Administration, Flight Attendants for the first time gained coverage under the Family and Medical Leave Act, became eligible for “Known Crew Member” status at airport security checks and are soon to be covered by certain OSHA guidelines that make aircraft cabins an infinitely safer environment for passengers and crew, among other positive changes.
Further, the coalition noted the dedication and competency of Obama administration appointments from the U.S. Department of Transportation and its Federal Aviation Administration, to the National Mediation Board, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Transportation Safety Board that have enhanced the safety of the traveling public. Also, the coalition praised Obama administration-enhanced programs like the NextGen air traffic control system, programs that assure the United States will continue to have the safest and most advanced aviation system in the world.
“Over the next five weeks we are asking Flight Attendants to volunteer with their union local or their local Obama-Biden campaign office and help in any way they can,” said Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President Veda Shook. “Flight Attendants understand they are not only electing a President, they are also “electing” those who administer the policies and programs of the federal government, men and women who are key to the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of aviation professionals.”
Shook noted FAUC members reside in large numbers in key swing states such as Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Ohio. Shook, an Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant, joined Transport Workers Union Local 556 President Stacy Martin, a Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant, and American Airlines Flight Attendant Laura Glading, President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.
“Flight Attendants have common interests. Economic issues, safety issues and support for our industry pertain to all Flight Attendants and are not unique to any carrier,” Martin said. “It’s important here for all Flight Attendants to work together.” Glading offered insight into how the two candidates and their ideologies are juxtaposed in American Airlines’ ongoing bankruptcy: “The bankruptcy has really brought this race home for our membership. The administration, through the tireless work of the PBGC, has been instrumental in protecting our benefits,” Glading said. “On the other side of the courtroom, though, are Romney’s former colleagues at Bain & Company who have been paid millions to help exploit employees. The APFA is doing everything possible to keep the President in office.”