Washington, D.C. -- The Communications Workers of America applaud the inclusion of provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Bill protecting passenger service agents from assault and providing 10 hours minimum rest for flight attendants. CWA urges Congress to approve the bill this week before funding runs out on the current extension.
The proposed bill would require air carriers to submit a plan and implement assault prevention and response training for passenger service agents within 90 days. While it requires a six-month study by GAO, the 90-day timeline for submission of the plans by air carriers starts immediately upon passage and does not wait for the completion of that study.
"CWA's passenger service agents have been fighting for over a decade for legislation that would strengthen protections against passenger assaults," said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of CWA District 3 and Chair of CWA's Passenger Service Airline Council. "The final language in the bill was developed with input from agents themselves who stepped up and told their personal stories of assaults by passengers to members of Congress and officials in the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and Transportation Security Administration."
Combatting Flight Attendant fatigue by increasing minimum rest from 8 hours to 10 hours has been the top safety priority for AFA-CWA's 50,000 flight attendants.
"Congressional fatigue studies have confirmed this is a safety issue and with an affirmative vote by lawmakers next week we can close this safety loophole," said Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA International President. "It's about safety, health, and equality as we harmonize minimum rest with our flight deck counterparts."