By The Associated Press - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 0 Comments
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s human rights commission has recommended that the country’s…
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s human rights commission has recommended that the country’s second-largest airline allow its female cabin crew to wear trousers, adding weight to a union campaign to ease strict dress rules.
The commission’s ruling made Monday is non-binding but represents a small victory for the 3,400 female flight attendants at Asiana Airlines Inc. Since last year, they have been asking the company to relax appearance requirements that range from how many hairpins they can wear to the length of their earrings.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea said Asiana Airlines required a uniform appearance through very specific rules on hairstyle and makeup, indicating that the company assumed women’s role to be that of a service provider.
Asiana said that its skirt-only policy was meant to emphasize the company’s brand of “high-class Korean beauty.” It said esthetic elements such as the appearance of female flight attendants are part of its service for passengers and an essential tool for staying competitive.
Still, the company said it will review trouser options in future uniform redesigns. It did not say when the next one is scheduled.
Asiana is the only South Korean airline with a no-trouser rule for its female flight attendants.
Even though the company did not openly ban specific hairstyles, all but four of its female flight attendants wore their hair in a tight bun because of pressure from senior crew and a group evaluation system that examines appearance, said Kweon Soo-joung, head of Asiana’s labour union.
Kweon said Asiana’s meticulous rules for female cabin crew reached 10 pages, including a ban on wearing glasses, having to cover up facial blemishes, and requirements for the length of earrings and the amount of eye liner. About 200 male flight attendants had to conform to a 2-page guide and were allowed to wear glasses, she said.
Asiana said it eased appearance rules for its female employees as of January, including allowing glasses.
“I hope the decision would help change similar discriminatory rules that govern how women in service industries, such as hotels, dress and do their hair and makeup,” Kweon said.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM - 2 Comments
From this week’s print edition, a thousand words on the new majority government, the new official opposition and the general notion of organized labour.
In that piece I note Lisa Raitt’s public musing about amending the Canada Labour Code. Speaking with reporters after QP today, in reaction to news of a settlement between Air Canada and its flight attendants, Raitt seemed to walk those musings back.
Well, you know, we were just talking in general about whether or not there was a difficulty in ratification this time. We referred it to the CIRB. But I don’t expect we’re going to get anything from the CIRB on the matter because they settled their differences and they found a process that worked so I’m very content with the Labour Code that it’s working as the way it should so it’s not priority for me at all … You know we went through a process of taking a look at the Code in general and I met with both labour and we met with employers and the Minister before me did the same thing. It’s working in today’s situation. It worked in this case and I’m very happy with the way that it worked out. I think what I was referencing is just we were going to use the Code in a different way by having Section 107 reference to the CIRB and that’s what I was indicating we were thinking of and that’s what we did. And it worked very well so we’re happy with it.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 8:45 AM - 9 Comments
Lisa Raitt explains her decision to refer Air Canada’s dispute with its flight attendants to the Industrial Relations Board, thus preventing a planned strike.
“Our government received a strong mandate to protect the Canadian economy and Canadian jobs, so we have been closely following the negotiations between Air Canada and CUPE,” said Minister Raitt. “I have asked the CIRB to review the situation at Air Canada to ensure that the health and safety of the public will not be impacted, and to determine how best to maintain and secure industrial peace and promote conditions that are favourable to the settlement of industrial disputes.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 10:36 AM - 37 Comments
The government once again threatens back-to-work legislation and this time the Labour Minister muses vaguely of amending the Canadian Labour Code.
There’s something wrong in this case, and does that mean there’s something wrong in the code?” she said. “And if there is, what do we do about it? But the beginning part is analyzing the facts at hand to see if it’s a one-off … or is it a case where the code, which is 100 years old, has to be taken a look at.” Raitt said there are no changes planned, but that she is starting a process to see whether adjustments might be needed in the future.
“If we do have a problem and maybe it is a flaw in the system, we should discover it now and if we need to make changes we can make changes,” the minister said.
See previously: The right to strike