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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 19 - 25  > Aviation workers hold rally opposing plan to outsource cabin attendant jobs
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2008 March 19 - 25 [LABOR]

Aviation workers hold rally opposing plan to outsource cabin attendant jobs

March 25, 2008
The Japan Federation of Aviation Workers’ Unions, a 12,000-strong liaison organization of 52 unions representing workers at Japanese and foreign airlines, held a rally on March 24 in the House of Representatives Members’ Office Building to voice opposition to the government guideline for allowing airlines to outsource flight attendants.

The main slogan was “Teamwork supports aviation safety - flight attendants and pilots should be from the same company”.

A representative of the Japan Airlines Cabin Crew Union appealed, “Outsourcing all cabin attendants will mean allowing the companies to use us as disposable workers. It will make it impossible to hand down to younger workers experience and skills, and aviation safety will be compromised.”

A representative of the Japan Federation of Flight Crew Unions, which includes pilots, said, “Aviation safety can only be ensured by a cooperative network and the teamwork of all aviation workers, including pilots, flight attendants, ground workers, and public service employees. We must not allow this teamwork system to be weakened.”

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry plans to revise the guideline for safety operation of airlines, which defines that a cabin crew that includes cabin attendants and pilots must be employed by the same airline company, by the end of March.

The revised guideline will allow airlines to farm out all flight attendants’ work, including the job of chief purser.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Koike Akira emphasized, “If a flight attendant from an outsourcing company receives a pilot’s order, that attendant will be regarded as a ‘disguised independent contractor’. This is tantamount to the government encouraging workers to violate the law.”
- Akahata, March 25, 2008
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