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FAA Bill Includes Critical Protections for Agents

On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, the Senate overwhelmingly passed an FAA Reauthorization bill that included critical protections from assault for passenger service agents. The bill also included a long-needed increase in the minimum rest period for flight attendants.

As CWA passenger service agents, we've fought together for more than a decade to strengthen protections against passenger assaults. Our personal stories presented to Congress and officials at the Department of Transportation, FAA, and Transportation Security Administration helped to define the provisions included in the final legislation.

"CWA's passenger service agents shared their personal stories of assaults by passengers and how this impacted their safety and that of their colleagues," said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of CWA District 3 and Chair of CWA's Passenger Service Airline Council. "Members of Congress took to heart their experience and recommendations as they shaped the final language in the bill. Addressing this issue in the FAA Reauthorization bill was long overdue."

Thanks to every passenger service professional who wrote a letter or made a call or traveled to Washington, DC, on behalf of this important legislation.

The inclusion in the bill of an increase of the minimum rest time from eight to ten hours for Flight Attendants has been the top safety priority for AFA-CWA's 50,000 Flight Attendants. This change brings the Flight Attendant rest time into alignment with the minimum rest time for their flight deck counterparts.

"The inclusion of the increased rest time for Flight Attendants closes a safety loophole," said Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA International President. "Congressional fatigue studies have confirmed this was a safety and health issue, but this also is about equality. Our largely female dominated profession now has parity with pilots in our minimum rest period."