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United Airlines staff protest during international Day of Action’: “We are a society, not a hedge fund

The members of the Association of flight Attendants-CWA protest United Airlines at O’hare International Airport, on Dec. 13, 2018 in Chicago. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The weather outside is terrible, and the working conditions of United Airlines employees are apparently less than delicious, as evidenced by the recent protests.

Looming personnel cuts, effective in the beginning of 2019, recently drove more than 24,000 flight attendants at an international “Day of Action,” TravelPulse reports.

Looming personnel cuts, effective in the beginning of 2019, recently drove more than 24,000 flight attendants to protest the airline during an international “Day of Action.”
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On Dec. 13 United flight attendants and members of the cabin crew united picket at air hubs around the world – including Washington, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Germany, in respect of the coming cuts, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The weather outside is terrible, and also the working conditions are apparently less than fantastic for United Airlines employees.
(iStock)

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According to the outlet, the campaign was organized by the Association of flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), which represents more than 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines. In February 2019, United will operate international flights with 10 flight attendants — a pitchfork down from the current 11. Members of staff removed from that do not travel with the termination, but will, instead, be assigned to other tours, at a Time.

While representatives of the carrier does not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment, a spokesman did confirm at the time that the United decision is intended to align the airline’s workforce with that of the competitors, namely Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

Meanwhile, some insiders do not fully agree with this.

“We need them. They are our eyes. It’s about safety,” a 20-year-old United flight attendant who picketed outside the Newark Liberty International Airport told CNBC.

A AFA exec also, expressed similar feelings, with the argument that not only the United was the prioritisation of financial interests above the safety of the passengers, but that the staff cut announcement served as a tipping point of frustration for many United employees on top of other long-term problems.

“Instead of leading US airlines and the distinguishing of United Airlines with superior safety and better customer service, the airline is lowering its standards to follow American and Delta,” Ken Diaz, President of the AFA United Master Executive Council, said in a press release before the Day of the Action. “This is not the way to say that we have the love of our passengers.”

“United is making a record profit, it must not cut back on the people who are in the frontline of protecting and serving the passengers. A profitable major airline should not be rushing to the reduce of the customer service,” he continued. “The staff cut announcement was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We call on the management to fix computer malfunctions, the elimination of the inhuman schedules, and increase staffing so we have the necessary tools to focus on the best experience for the travelers.”

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“We are an airline. Not in a hedge fund,” a protest sign read, according to the AFA’s Twitter account.

“Staff cuts impact on safety and service.”

The carrier is also said to be cracking down on uniform rules with regard to holiday accessories for the staff by the next couple of weeks.

The Chicago-based carrier reportedly wants staff to keep professional when they are in the spirit of the holiday, according to a recently released memo on “Holiday Decoration”, as described in the LA Times.

Although “head decorations (i.e., antlers, santa hats, halos, etc.); holiday cardigans or sweaters; holiday apron, holiday stockings, and socks,” are prohibited, “conservative” holiday scarves, earrings, ties and pins are allowed.

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A representative for the United told the Times that such a memo was released this time every year.

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