News National Survey shows flight attendants targets for sexual harassment

Survey shows flight attendants targets for sexual harassment

The TWU is advocating for greater protection for cabin crew. Photo: TWU
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Sexual harassment of airline cabin crew is rife according to a recent survey, which shows 65 per cent of respondents have experienced it in the workplace.

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) revealed one in five crew have reported more than 10 incidents of sexual harassment in their careers so far.

Over 400 airline cabin crew responded, with four out of five reporting sexual harassment from co-workers while three out of five experienced it from passengers.

The survey asked airline cabin crew members a series of questions about their experience of sexual harassment and how incidents were dealt with at work.

Cabin crew rights advocates are using the hashtag #CabinCrewToo, off the back of #MeToo, to raise awareness of commonplace harassment.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said over the past 12 months, people from the airline industry have approached the union with reports of sexual harassment.

“We decided it was important to do a survey … to let people self-report and, of course, the reports that have come through are really concerning,” he said.

Complaints include passengers groping attendants
Reports include passengers exposing themselves to crew, workers being touched on their groins and buttocks, highly sexualised comments and degrading comments targeted at crew because of their sexual orientation.

“These are serious reports of sexual assaults, with workers being pinned down and assaulted at work,” Mr Kaine said.

“That’s something that should shock the Australian community and it’s something that we should really move on now and say to airlines that a culture that allows this to exist must be changed immediately.

“We are now calling on airlines to address the culture that obviously exists here to allow this terrible circumstance to exist.”