Letter to OutRage! from Association of Flight Attendants


Unfriendly United Airlines

United Airlines Cargo Centre,
Shoreham Road East,
Heathrow Airport,
Hounslow TW6 3RD United Kingdom.

As the elected union representative of 900 cabin crew working for United Air Lines at Heathrow, I would like to offer thanks to you and OutRage! for your actions concerning spousal benefits for the partners of gay employees at United.

It has been a long-standing objective of mine to achieve these benefits for all employees with partners. During 1992, we assisted a Heathrow-based gay member of United's staff who was a Dutch national living in Holland with his partner. We attempted to secure partnership rights for him through both internal grievance procedures and a Dutch Tribunal: but the company resisted at every turn! Since 1992 we have tried to achieve gay spousal benefits through negotiations: but again the company continues to resist.

Your interpretation of United's stance in San Francisco is spot on! The legal action by United in San Francisco is merely a ruse and a diversion to disguise United's long-term opposition to gay partnership benefits. This opposition predates the current legal action by at least five years. Moreover, it is absolutely incredulous that United believes itself to be exempt from local laws. I dare say that some 'local' judge in San Francisco may think differently. Regardless, United's rationale that it is not discriminatory against gay employees is shallow and deceptive. Unied correctly claims that its policy offers partnership benefits to married people only. This policy is, of course, inherently discriminatory since the entire community of gay employees are excluded, as only heterosexuals have the option of marriage. United refuses to recognise this truth.

While United claims to be reviewing its policy, this company does not traditionally make policy changes such as this willingly. Whether it is the pressure of adverse publicity of the economic impact of a boycott, United tends to respond to pressures involving loss of revenue or increased costs.

We shall all hope that pressures from many different angles will cause United to see the wisdom of amending its policy to be inclusive, rather than exclusive. I do hope that you are successful in convincing many of United's potential customers to write to United's CEO, Mr. Jerry Greenwald, to express their concern that United maintains this antiquated policy.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin P. Creighan
Local President
Association of Flight Attendants
Council 07 -- London Heathrow Airport

Unfriendly United Airlines

OutRage!, with the support of the Association of Flight Attendants, is continuing to urge everyone to alert their local gay press and and gay rights organisations about the Boycott United campaign, so we can exert pressure on the airline right across Europe. We are also requesting people to write a letter of protest to the Head of United, Worldwide:

Gerald Greenwald,
Chief Executive,
United Airlines,
United House,
South Perimeter Road,
United Kingdom

or to his USA HQ:

Gerald Greenwald,
Chief Executive,
United Airlines,
1200, Algonquin Road,
P.O. Box 66100,
Illinois 60666,
Further Information: PETER TATCHELL, Tel. (+44)-171 403 1790

Unfriendly United Airlines

Update -- 30-August-1997

Over 30 trade journals and magazines serving the U.K. travel industry and business community have now been alerted to the conflict at United Airlines.

Unfriendly United Airlines

Call for European Boycott of United Airlines
United Airlines web site: let them know what you think
Equal Benefits Advocates: Latest News on United Boycott

Airline would get 20 months to implement law -- San Francisco Chronicle -- 8-Feb-1997
Airlines Sue S.F. Over Benefits -- San Francisco Chronicle -- 14-May-1997
Large insurers to offer domestic partner coverage -- San Francisco Chronicle -- 28-May-1997
Inroads in public office pave way to gay rights -- Sacramento Bee -- 6-June-1997
More employers have quietly extended benefits to the partners of gay workers -- 24-June-1997
United: No promise of benefits to partners -- San Francisco Examiner -- 2-July-1997


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Author: Kevin P. Creighan
©1997 OutRage! London
URL: http://www.RoseCottage.me.uk/OutRage-archives/ual_afa.htm
Last modified: 28-May-1999