8/31: FLIGHT ATTENDANTS TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST ASSAULTS ON AIRLINE WORKERS AT NEW YORK’S JFK AIRPORT
Ahead of busy Labor Day travel weekend, airline workers will be educating passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport about the Transport Workers Union’s Assault Won’t Fly campaign
Airline workers also continue to call for congressional support as delays and cancellations lead to rise in assaults on flights
NEW YORK CITY – Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), including flight attendants and essential airline workers, will hold an in-person action at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday, August 31, to educate fellow workers and passengers on TWU’s nationwide campaign, Assault Won’t Fly. The campaign was launched in response to a drastic rise in assaults by unruly passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has recently been fueled more by increasing flight delays and cancellations. During the action, TWU members will hand out wristbands that say “Assault Won’t Fly,” along with postcards that have a QR code directing to the website that provides details about the campaign. The Assault Won’t Fly website can be viewed here.
With Labor Day air travel expected to break records since the start of the pandemic, flight attendants and essential airline workers are increasingly concerned that airlines’ failure to properly address flight delays and cancellations will lead to more assaults onboard aircrafts. Already, airline workers are reporting a rise in tensions among passengers due to delays – a direct result of airlines’ overall mismanagement, including their failure to properly staff their workforce and ensure sufficient training for new employees.
WHO: Flight attendants and essential airline workers with the Transport Workers Union
WHAT: An in-person action to educate airline workers and travelers about the need to combat airline assaults, as part of TWU’s Assault Won’t Fly campaign
WHEN: Wednesday, August 31, 2022 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET
WHERE: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
AirTran Walkway at Terminal 5
***TWU members will be gathered midway between the train and Terminal 5, near the elevators that lead down to the taxi stand***
Thom McDaniel, TWU International Vice President
Assault Won’t Fly centers around the experiences of airline workers who have been intimidated, harassed or assaulted by abusive passengers and calls on legislators, regulators and airline executives to take action and to develop clear, consistent policies and safety measures to ensure all airline workers are protected on the job. The campaign, which aims to connect with elected officials and pass legislation that offers real solutions to protect airline workers across all airlines, expands on the Union’s ongoing support for the recently introduced Protection from Abusive Passengers Act.
Wednesday’s action at JFK airport in New York City is the latest in a series of in-person actions by airline workers and TWU members, including last week at Orlando International Airport and Orlando Sanford International Airport, and earlier this summer at Dallas Love Field Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The actions reflect workers’ latest push to demand more protections on the job. Existing measures to protect airline workers from unruly passengers are often ineffective, and passengers who assault workers usually face no real repercussions. In fact, abusive passengers are often let on another flight immediately after assaulting or harassing a worker.
The campaign has also created an opportunity for airline workers to share their stories of assault through the campaign’s website, as many incidents go unreported by airline workers, many of whom are afraid of being blamed or ignored. TWU intends to use responses to better track incidents, to provide support and guidance to workers, and to advocate for greater protections for all airline workers. Individuals who use the tool are offered the option to be contacted for further support.