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SIMPLY RED: Northwest Airlines’ flight attendants apparently appreciate some of the finer things in life, like the right to don merger-partner Delta’s bright red Richard Tyler dresses as their uniform — even if they wear a size larger than 18. The Northwest Airlines Association of Flight Attendants brought five uniform-related grievances against Delta in May — including the gripe that women larger than a size 18 couldn’t wear the Tyler dresses, said Gina Loughlin, a Delta spokeswoman. Delta has rejected all five requests, Loughlin said, which also included a call by some to wear orthopedic shoes with dresses or skirts, which is prohibited, as well as with slacks, which are permitted.
The Richard Tyler dress dispute “passed through mediation last week” and is headed to arbitration, said Rene Foss, communications chairman of the union. The former Northwest attendants have been donning Delta uniforms as part of the merger last October that created a combined force of 21,000 women and men who are now Delta flight attendants. (The former Northwest flight attendants remain unionized ahead of a vote to determine whether the merged group of attendants will be union members or not.)
Delta adopted Tyler’s red wrap dresses as part of its flight attendant uniform in 2006. Prior to wearing the Delta uniforms beginning on March 30, the Northwest attendants hadn’t had new uniform styles since the Nineties.
“The men will not be going into the red flight attendant dresses regardless of the arbitration’s finding,” Foss quipped.