Flight attendants union testifies on sexual harassment in the air

The president of an international flight attendants union is testifying at a U.S. House of Representatives caucus hearing Monday on sexual harassment experienced by flight attendants.

Association of Flight Attendants international president Sara Nelson said in her testimony to the Congressional caucus for women’s issues that “we are called pet names, patted on the rear when a passenger wants our attention, cornered in the back galley and asked about our ‘hottest’ layover, and subjected to incidents not fit for print.” It’s a message Nelson also delivered in a December op-ed in the Washington Post.

Nelson called for the formation of a task force to identify guidelines for responding to sexual assault and harassment aboard commercial airplanes, and to develop standards for employee training and incident reporting. The union represents flight attendants at United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Alaska Airlines and other carriers. Flight attendants at Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines are non-union.

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