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United Airlines CEO calls for ‘zero tolerance’ of sexual harassment after flight attendant union comments

Its lam out attendants’ union calls it a “silent epidemic.” As high-profile allegations of physical harassment become a near-daily occurrence, United Continental Holdings’ CEO is fatiguing to get ahead of the problem.

In a letter to staff on Monday, Oscar Munoz expected employees to “all join with me in making a commitment to zero tolerance for fleshly harassment of any of our colleagues and customers.”

Sexual harassment in air travel gained multitudinous visibility late last month after Randi Zuckerberg, a approach executive and sister of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, reported she was sexually pick oned on an Alaska Airlines flight.

The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents thousands of berth crew on United, Alaska and a host of other airlines, commended Alaska Airlines for examining the incident but warned that flight attendants lack the proper exercising and guidance to deal with such issues.

“The industry and regulators privation to come together to develop policies and tools to respond to these facts on board,” union president Sara Nelson said in a statement to CNBC. A alliance survey found the majority of flight attendants “have no knowledge of canceled guidance and/or training” on this issue,” she added.

Munoz’s letter happens after the airline faced several public relations black visual acuities this year. Munoz and United faced a public outcry in the spring after a blew apology for the violent dragging of passenger David Dao off one of its flights to make accommodation for commuting crew.

Flight attendants themselves are often victims of physical harassment, Nelson wrote in a Dec. 8 op-ed in the Washington Post.

“Flat today, we are called pet names, patted on the rear when a passenger penuries our attention, cornered in the back galley and asked about our ‘hottest’ layover, and subjected to events not fit for print,” she wrote.

Flight attendants are also tasked with handgrip customers who report sexual harassment on board by fellow passengers. Company are often encouraged to de-escalate situations during flights and may try to separate voyagers in the case of a problem. Flight diversions are costly.

Nelson wrote that withdraw attendants “never had reason to believe that reports of the sexual harassment we trial on the job would be taken seriously, rather than dismissed or retaliated against” and telephoned on chief executives to speak out.

Munoz, in his letter, said he was adding his present to Nelson’s and those of team members “who adamantly believe that sex harassment, inappropriate behavior, intimidation or predation have absolutely no area anywhere in our society — including, and especially, in our industry and on our aircraft.”

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