Airline says uniforms are okay, but attendants still claim they could be toxic.
American Airlines is standing behind their new choice of uniform, while their flight attendants claim the threads have caused a litany of health concerns. Bloomberg reports the airline and the flight attendants’ union remain at a deadlock on how to solve the issue.
Complaints about the uniforms first came shortly after the carrier rolled out the new uniforms in September 2016. Among the allegations were complaints of breaking out in hives, headaches and respiratory issues. By December 2016, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), representing American’s unionized flight attendants, called for the complete recall of all new issued uniforms.
However, American is not yet ready to admit the problem lies in the manufacturing process of their selected supplier, Twin Hill. The airline told Bloomberg that over $1 million was spent on toxological tests, but no toxins were discovered in any of the reports.
The next steps are unclear for both sides. Earlier in January, the union reported their grievance over the uniforms was denied, but would be appealing the decision to a higher board for review. Meanwhile, Twin Hill claims that the APFA has cancelled meetings to co-select alternative pieces for flight attendants to wear while on duty. American has allowed flight attendants who still hold their previous uniform pieces to wear those in the interim, until a solution has been settled for both sides.
The situation is not the first time Twin Hill has come under question for their provided uniforms. In 2011, flight attendants for Alaska Airlines requested a review of their uniforms manufactured by the company, going so far to file a class-action lawsuit. The suit went to trial, with the ruling ultimately in favor of Twin Hill.
[Photo: American Airlines]