Oscar Munoz says there’s “no place for sexual harassment at United”
There’s “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment when you’re flying the friendly skies, the CEO of United Airlines said Monday.
Oscar Munoz, amid an ongoing national dialogue on sexual misconduct, declared in a letter to staff that there was “no place for sexual harassment at United” and asked employees to “all join with me in making a commitment to zero tolerance for sexual harassment of any of our colleagues and customers.” His call to action came on the heels of Silicon Valley mogul Randi Zuckerberg’s complaint of sexual harassment aboard an Alaska Airlines flight.
Munoz threw a shoutout to Association of Flight Attendants international president Sara Nelson, whose contribution to a recent Washington Post op-ed called on airline chief executives to “clearly and forcefully denounce the past objectification of flight attendants, reinforce our safety role as aviation’s first responders and pledge zero tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assault at the airlines.” (About three in four flight attendants are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
“I want to add my voice to hers, along with a chorus of more than 90,000 United team members around the world, who adamantly believe that sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, intimidation or predation have absolutely no place anywhere in our society — including, and especially, in our industry and on our aircraft,” Munoz wrote.
Flight attendants face a whole host of mistreatment, Nelson wrote in her op-ed, including being called pet names, patted on the rear and cornered and asked about their “hottest layover.” “Like the rest of our society,” she wrote, “flight attendants have never had reason to believe that reports of the sexual harassment we experience on the job would be taken seriously, rather than dismissed or retaliated against.”
United and Alaska Airlines — which promptly launched an investigation after Zuckerberg’s alleged ordeal — have the right idea, the AFA said in a statement Monday. The union called on all other airlines to follow their lead to combat the scourge of sexual harassment and “spread the message through aviation that in our world everyone has an equal seat at the table.”
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