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April 4, 2002
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AFA - US Airways E-Line April 4, 2002


  • Attendants Question Ground Security
  • Flight Attendants Call for Consistency in Aircraft Searches
  • Mourn for the Dead - Fight for the Living - AFL-CIO Workers Memorial Day, 2002
Attendants Question Ground Security
By Blake Morrison, USA TODAY

Flight attendants are stepping up pressure to close what some call a back door to airport terrorism: ground-crew security.

Nearly seven months after the terrorist hijackings, they say thousands of airport mechanics, caterers and ramp workers still have access to airplanes and runways without passing through metal detectors or undergoing regular searches.  The access continues, they say, despite provisions in the new Aviation and Transportation Security Act that require tighter measures.

The easy access creates "a huge, gaping hole just waiting to be exploited," says the leader of the nation's largest flight attendants union.  Pat Friend, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, says she will raise the issue Monday, when she meets with John Magaw, head of the new Transportation Security Administration.

Transportation Department spokesman Lenny Alcivar says ground-crew employees "must go through a thorough background and criminal records check as well as prescreening procedures."

At most airports, however, those workers are not subject to regular searches or asked to pass through metal detectors, as pilots and flight attendants are.

Read the article:

Flight Attendants Call for Consistency in Aircraft Searches
April 3, 2002
WASHINGTON, DC - The Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, has asked the Department of Transportation and the Transportation Security Administration for a consistent rule to ensure that carriers use trained personnel with ample time to conduct aircraft searches for suspicious and dangerous materials. The Federal Aviation Administration mandated the searches after September 11.

AFA International President Patricia Friend made the request in a letter dated March 26 to DOT Secretary Norman Mineta and TSA Undersecretary John Magaw. AFA has been working with management at several carriers to ensure the searches are done properly. However, some regional airlines have refused to bring in trained personnel or train flight attendants and provide sufficient time to do the searches effectively.

"Flight attendants and passengers on regional airlines deserve the same standard of security provided at the major airlines," said Friend. "It is clear that the DOT must intervene to ensure that these carriers are not allowed to cut corners when it comes to security."

Currently, US Airways Express carriers Piedmont, Allegheny and PSA Airlines and United Express carrier Air Wisconsin are the airlines requiring flight attendants to conduct new security searches in addition to current pre-flight safety checks, without providing any training or additional time. Flight attendants are required by law to conduct pre-flight safety checks of emergency equipment before each flight. Carriers allot the minimum amount of time needed to conduct the emergency equipment checks prior to boarding.  These checks were in place prior to September 11.

However, these flight attendants have received no additional training or time to conduct the new exhaustive security searches.  And because of the time crunch brought on by the added duties, ground supervisors are pressuring flight attendants -  sometimes wielding the threat of discipline -  to cut the searches short so passengers can be boarded and an "on-time" departure achieved.

Mourn for the Dead - Fight for the Living - AFL-CIO Workers Memorial Day, 2002

Workers Memorial Day Observance - Memorial Rally in BOS

  • Honor our brothers and sisters who were killed, injured, or suffered from illness while on the job.
  • Demand real "homeland security": secure and safe jobs and working conditions for all workers.



    When:  Friday, April 26th
    Time:  12:00 noon - 1:15 pm
    Where: Logan Airport, James Sartori Memorial Stadium (the football field near the Airport T stop on the Blue Line; parking available)

Flight Attendants are invited to attend in uniform.

For more information: call MassCOSH 617-825-7233 ext 15 or 19.

Organized by the Association of Flight Attendants, Greater Boston Labor Council, Mass. AFL-CIO, Mass. Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), Mass. Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, and the Mass. Nurses Association.

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