A Florida Democrat is teaming up with a Republican from Virginia to call on the airline industry to take measures cracking down on sexual harassment on airplane flights.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Virg., joined forces to send a letter to 30 airline executives on the matter. The letter--which was signed by six other congresswoman including U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., called on the executives to “publicly denounce sexual harassment, reinforce the role of flight attendants as safety professionals, and work with the Association of Flight Attendants to put in place policies to address this systemic issue.”
“Approximately 80 percent of flight attendants are female and they are often objectified on a daily basis by passengers, coworkers, and superiors,” the congresswomen wrote. “It is perhaps not surprising that sexual harassment is prevalent given the industry’s past objectification of flight attendants. Not long ago, airlines used flight attendants, and their sexuality, as part of a marketing strategy to sell more airline tickets. As recently as 1993, flight attendants were required to weigh-in regularly to maintain their employment.”
Frankel pointed to a study from the Association of Flight Attendants which found that 68 percent of flight attendants experienced sexual harassment on flights. The study also found that 68 percent of flight attendants said their employers did little to prevent it.
“Flight attendants are responsible for our safety and comfort when traveling the skies,” Frankel said. “They deserve our respect, and shouldn’t fear sexual harassment and abuse while on the job. We need airline executives to lead and create policies to protect them.”
“During our recent hearing held by the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues, we heard about the problem of sexual harassment of airline flight attendants and the need for reforms and action to establish zero tolerance policies. We applaud Spirit, United, and Alaska Airlines for denouncing sexual harassment and supporting flight attendants and taking a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace. We trust all airlines are addressing this issue and will come forward with policies to establish zero tolerance policies throughout the industry,” said Comstock.
The letter was set to Air Wisconsin Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, ATI, Cathay Pacific U.S., Compass Airlines, Delta, Endeavor Air, Envoy Air, ExpressJet, Frontier Airlines, GoJet Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Horizon Air, JetBlue, Mesa Air Group, Miami Air International, Norwegian, Omni Air International, Piedmont Airlines, PSA Airlines, Republic, Silver Airways, SkyWest, Southwest, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country, TranStates and United Airlines.
READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS