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Hundreds of former international flight attendants accuse United Airlines of discrimination

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

Until last year, Stuart was a man with ties to many countries—an exemplar of this multinational age of business. He was a Briton who’d lived since 1996 in Japan, working as a flight attendant on international flights. His employer through all those years, United Airlines, was American.

Stuart worked under a US contract, which meant that he was represented by a US union, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA). He paid US income taxes and contributed to social security. After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, he even continued getting his salary under the US government’s payroll support program, which disbursed $40 billion to US airlines on the condition that they didn’t lay off employees until Sep. 30, 2020.


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