Flight Attendants Gather Overwhelming Congressional Support In No-Knife Fight

Bi-Partisan Letter to TSA with 133 Signatures Calls for Recognition of Flight Attendant Concerns

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions, representing 90,000 Flight Attendants, applauds Congressmen Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) for taking the lead by authoring a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole about the abrupt policy change allowing dangerous items in the aircraft cabin. The letter expresses serious concerns about the process used to determine a policy change "without any formal engagement with stakeholders impacted by this policy, including our frontline workers aboard flights, the crewmembers."

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One of the lead co-sponsors, former FBI Special Agent and U.S. Marine, Congressman Michael Grimm stated, "This level of congressional opposition should serve as a wake-up call to TSA. The decision to lift the ban on knives was done without any rhyme or reason and without consulting stakeholders, like members of Congress, flight attendants and air marshals and the general public. I don't know which is more idiotic — the policy or the process."

The bi-partisan letter states in part, "A failure to engage all relevant stakeholders is unfortunate, in light of existing processes and mechanisms in place to garner input from frontline workers, such as the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), which has played a critical role in the development of security policies and protocols, such as the Final Rule on Air Cargo Security." Finally, it calls on the TSA Administrator to, "maintain knives and sporting equipment on the list of prohibited items until a process of formal consultation is conducted with all stakeholders through the ASAC."

Flight Attendants are tremendously grateful for the swift, commanding support of Congress.  The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions now turns its focus to building the co-sponsor list for the bi-partisan No Knives Act of 2013, H.R. 1093, introduced by Congressmen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) and continues to press for signatures on the White House petition at www.NoKnivesOnPlanes.com.  The Coalition also began airport leafleting yesterday to raise passenger awareness and encourage public opposition to the abrupt policy change.

Air Marshals, Pilots, Transportation Security Officers and airline CEOs agree with Flight Attendants. The people on the front lines of aviation security know this is a bad idea. Flight Attendants will continue to escalate our opposition until common sense prevails and the ban on knives is maintained.

The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions coordinates on issues of mutual interest to Flight Attendants. Members of the Coalition are the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Transport Workers Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Together, the Coalition represents 90,000 Flight Attendants.

SOURCE Association of Flight Attendants




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