Flight attendant advocate Sara Nelson fights to protect their jobs | #students | #parents

As the head of the union representing flight attendants from 19 airlines, Nelson is the face of an aggressive effort to protect members’ jobs. Over the past few months she has successfully argued to keep idled employees on the payroll, and she’s been one of the most vocal advocates for requiring masks and other protective gear in airplanes. 

Nelson, said House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., was “especially critical” to ensuring some $32 billion in payroll support for airlines in the March law. “I’m pleased to call Sara a friend,” he said.

Now, Nelson, a Corvallis, Ore., native who had never planned to be a flight attendant, is back in the mix again: The $32 billion in support expires Sept. 30, and airlines are still struggling to draw passengers. Her new focus is extending the aid through March of next year. 

“All you can do is fight to make it not as bad,” she said.

For Nelson, who has served as president of the union since 2014, the pandemic brought back memories of Sept. 11 and the days after, when United, the airline she flies for, went bankrupt. 


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