Today in labor history: Air Line Stewardesses Association formed

Today in 1945, five flight attendants formed the Air Line Stewardesses Association (ALSA), the first-ever labor union representing female flight attendants. The first president was Ada Brown Greenfield. ALSA was partly a powerful response to the industry’s social climate of the time, in which women were forced to retire at the age of 32 and had harsh height and appearance requirements.

The union later became the Association of Flight Attendants in 1973. In 2004, in order to better maintain services after a massive layoff of flight attendants following the September 11th attacks, the AFA voted to merge with the Communication Workers of America, which is how it remains today.

Photo: Stewardess serving dinner aboard an American airliner, circa 1941.   Library of Congress

 


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Special to PeoplesWorld.org
Special to PeoplesWorld.org

Peoplesworld.org is a daily news website of, for and by the 99% and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker. Published by Long View Publishing Co., People’s World reports on the movements for jobs, peace, equality, democracy, civil rights and liberties, labor, immigrant, LGBT and women’s rights, protection of the environment, and more.

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