Flight Attendant Union Criticizes CDC for Decision “Pushed by Corporate America”

Sara Nelson, president of the Flight Attendant union and labor leader, is slamming the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for changing its guidance regarding quarantining for COVID-19. This was after business leaders asked for the agency to reduce its recommendations by half.

Nelson, who is the president of the Association of Flight Attendants International, was accused of accusing the CDC in a statementit decided to help businesses that are experiencing staffing problems, rather than stopping the spread of the disease.

“We said we wanted to hear from medical professionals on the best guidance for quarantine, not from corporate America advocating for a shortened period due to staffing shortages,” Nelson said. “The CDC gave a medical explanation about why the agency has decided to reduce the quarantine requirements from 10 to five days, but the fact that it aligns with the number of days pushed by corporate America is less than reassuring.”

The agency has reduced its recommendations regarding quarantining for COVID from 10 days to five days after receiving complaints from many people. may still be contagiousIt was extended beyond that time. The decision was made shortly afterEd Bastian, Delta Air Lines CEO, wrote to Rochelle Waensky, CDC Director asking her to reduce quarantine time for vaccinated individuals to five days. He complained that the longer quarantine period “may significantly impact our workforce and operations.”

The CDC has deniedIt was likely that corporate giants influenced its decision. Some progressive commentators disagree. have also noted that Walensky won’t consider a vaccine mandate for airlinesIn line with Bastian’s previous objectionsTo such a requirement. Bastian said earlier this year that vaccine mandates for passengers would cause a “bottleneck” for airlines.

Ironically, Bastian has made the easing pandemic restrictions a business-friendly initiative, but allowing the virus to spread will only prolong the pandemic. still suppressing the economy. The current explosion of cases — with the U.S. breaking its previous record for daily case counts this week — has caused thousands of flight cancellationsDuring the busiest travel season, both domestically and internationally

It is not just a problem for travellers, but also for those working in aviation, who are disproportionately affected. It is a problem for airline employees. forced to contendrude and abusive customers, who refuse to follow pandemic guidelines and masking while being exposed to the virus at their workplace. The airlines have even attributed the spread of the Omicron variantTo cancel flights, stating that staff and crew infections are causing shortages.

Nelson made it clear in her statement that the CDC guidance was a labor issue and that workers’ health and ability to recover safely and protect themselves and their coworkers from the virus is crucial.

“If any business pressures a worker to return to work before they feel better, we will make clear it is an unsafe work environment, which will cause a much greater disruption than any ‘staffing shortages,’” Nelson warned.

“We cannot allow pandemic fatigue to lead to decisions that extend the life of the pandemic or put policies on the backs of workers,” she continued. “Already the lack of paid sick leave creates pressure on workers to come to work sick. Corporations that fail to recognize this with paid sick leave, or pressure workers to come to work sick or face discipline, are failing their workers and their customers.”