AFA Testing Delta Uniforms

For over a year and a half Flight Attendants at Delta have been experiencing the effects of toxic uniforms. This is a relatively new issue in our industry, but AFA has taken this issue on and defined it through the work of our industrial hygienist, Judith Anderson. 

For a review of this issue and how AFA has tackled it at other airlines, watch this video:

AFA-CWA: Securing Safe Flight Attendant Uniforms >

This issue is real. It affects different people in different ways and the reactions can vary in severity with symptoms such as rashes, headaches, hair loss, and breathing problems when wearing the uniform to becoming so sensitized to the chemicals that it's impossible to even be in the same space without getting extremely sick.

We need to stand together and stand up for those who are experiencing this serious health issue. They need us to have their backs and we need to stand up for them because the next safety or health issue could affect any one of us. That's what unions do - we stand up for each other and take care of each other in a way none of us can do alone.

In April of this year, the Guardian wrote on this issue with the headline:

'Chemical burns': Delta flight attendants say new uniforms cause rashes

The issue went public. But not much changed.

Then, you started talking about joining AFA, the Flight Attendant Union, and all of the sudden management started to change their position, especially after Bloomberg Law wrote an article last week with the headline, "Lab Clearing Delta’s ‘Toxic’ Uniforms Raises Calls for Union."

Suddenly, things really started to change. One Flight Attendant wrote to her flying partners over the weekend:

"I’ve been wearing B&W for 7 months. We’re discovering that even though ACS wears the same uniforms as us, they are being treated differently. So far, they have not been included in the bulk uniform emails. They’re left struggling alone. If we’re THIS powerful as a threat, think of how powerful we will be WITH A LEGAL CONTRACT! I’m wearing an AFA pin, but am still waiting for my own card to arrive to sign. I want my name to be officially counted!"

We are absolutely making Delta a better employer and we will continue to work together throughout this campaign to encourage that! But there are Flight Attendants who love this job and can't do it right now. They've been made to feel that they are crazy and disrespected all because this uniform has made them so sick they can't do the job they love. They are taking medications and until now have been perfectly healthy their whole lives. They have lost pay and are experiencing mounting medical bills. This is NOT okay.

In order to fully take this issue on, we need the science behind us. We need to do testing that AFA will fund. We need your help on this - whether you are currently experiencing symptoms or not.

Testing Protocols

We need unworn garments, still in original packaging (preferably unopened shipping bags/box too) and ideally with the Lands End paperwork that came with the garments (if shipping bags or boxes are unopened, don't open just to look for these documents - just ship the package unopened).

Ship to:

AFA-CWA
501 Third Street, NW
10th Floor
Washington, DC 20001

Separately, once sent, also email [email protected], to advise you have shipped the garments. Provide your name and contact information so we can follow up with you.

We will continue to move forward on this issue. Overall information on this issue may be viewed at afacwa.org/uniforms. And we will be creating a uniform section of deltaafa.org where information about this issue may be regularly viewed with updates.

Remember, we are stronger and better together. Take care of yourselves and look out for one another. 

Fly safe!

Sara Nelson
AFA-CWA International President