“Not long after the passage of the FMLA in 1993, IAM-represented Flight Attendants negotiated FMLA provisions that were the envy of the industry,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “The IAM could not wait 20 years for Congress to address their oversight, but the Machinists Union never stopped fighting for all Flight Attendants.”
The FMLA guarantees that eligible workers may take up to 12 weeks to care for themselves or a family member without risk of losing their jobs. But because the original law set a minimum number of hours worked per year, it did not properly translate to flight crew members who have duty-time limits.
“It is gratifying to see the DOL’s final rule be modeled on IAM-negotiated contract language,” said Pantoja. “It reinforces the fact that the IAM is the preeminent union in the airline industry and the union best able to address the needs of Flight Attendants.”