American Airlines flight attendants are demanding a "full recall" of their new uniforms after some 1,600 workers became ill.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants union said the uniforms, rolled out in September, are to blame for headaches, rashes and respiratory illnesses. There have been more than 1,600 health complaints from cabin crews, official said. American said the issues were isolated and possibly due to a wool allergy.
"The growing number of reports of suspected reactions, triggered by both direct and indirect contact with the uniform, has prompted APFA to ask that all uniforms be recalled until further joint testing with the company can be completed," the union said.
The airline said it does not plan to recall the new uniforms but will conduct additional testing to determine the cause of the problems. It is allowing some flight attendants to wear their old uniforms on a case-by-case basis.
"This is something we're taking very seriously. We obviously want to make sure every employee feels good in their uniform," American Airlines spokesman Ron DeFeo said.
The union said anything short of a full recall "fails to adequately protect our members."
"To that end, APFA will continue to explore all legal options and consult with additional experts in the field to better understand the results of our ongoing independent testing as well as joint testing moving forward," the union said.
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