Delta Airlines has recently found itself in a bit of a pickle after hiring designer Richard Tyler to create an updated version of their "classic" bright red flight attendant uniforms—but only offering them up to size 18.
"I want them to look sexy and great, but you have to keep that classic look as well," Tyler says of his uniforms, which have reportedly received positive feedback from several employees. Employees over a Size 18, however, are out of luck, as Tyler's uniforms aren't produced above that size, a headdesk inducing decision that raises a good question: why is a standard company uniform being given exclusively to women under a certain size?
The "sexy" Delta uniforms went into effect in 2006—years before the airline merged with Northwest, whose unionized workers now say that the company has failed to provide similar uniforms for women who wear larger sizes. As Patricia Reller, vice chairwoman of the grievance committee at the flight attendants union's executive council at Northwest, tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,"Red is a color that attracts attention and someone, somewhere has made a decision that they don't want to attract attention to someone in a dress that's larger than a size 18. I'm very offended by it."
According to the Associated Press, "the Northwest chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA has filed a grievance with the world's largest airline operator, asking it to offer the red dress up to size 28. The union hopes the grievance will go to mediation in August." Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin says of the uniforms: "This is Richard Tyler's collection — he designed it; he knows it better than anyone. So his perspective on how the pieces were meant to be worn, perhaps how the pieces could be best altered to fit someone — that's invaluable perspective." If only the airline valued their employees perspective as much as they valued the perspective of the man they hired to dress them.
Flight Attendant Union Sees Red Over Size Limit On Delta Uniform [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Some NWA Flight Attendants Want To Wear Red Dress [AP]