There is an old saying that “sex sells.” This is a motto that Japanese airline Skymark may be taking to heart. The airline recently introduced a new mini-dress for its stewardesses. This is a new look that many industry experts feel has opened the door for sexual harassment. The Japan Federation of Cabin Attendants, the union that is set up to protect stewardesses, has already showed its distaste for the new look.
The new mini-dress is royal blue and was launched just last week. Of course, it is not the colour of the dress that has drawn criticism but its length. The Japan Federation of Cabin Attendants says the dress is too short for stewardesses to be able to perform their work actions in. The union feels that male co-workers and passengers will get an “eye full” every time the stewardesses kneel down or stretch up to help customers with the overhead bins. The union reminds Skymark that it is an airline and not a peepshow provider.
The Japan Federation of Cabin Attendants also said on its blog that Article 73-3 of the Civil Aeronautics Act strictly prohibits acts that compromise safety. This includes sexual harassment, which is something women and men should not be subjected to at work. The duties of this union are to try to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening. The new uniform that the airline says stewardesses must wear might welcome sexual harassment in the workplace. This is something the union is not fine with.
The union did not stop there, adding that Skymark is treating female workers as meat or as a product that it can market. It is putting them in skimpy outfits and using them for advertising. All of this is being done to attract more customers. This has caused the union to doubt the morality of Skymark. Safety should be the airline’s number one priority, but instead it is sex appeal.
Right now the union believes that flight attendants are not going to be able to focus on their jobs. They are going to be too busy worrying about being secretly photographed in the new mandatory uniforms. This would distract any woman from her job. The union has already received comments about these outfits from flight attendants, but it was not clear for which airlines these flight attendants work. Thus, it is possible that the flight attendants who have to wear these outfits have not even complained about them yet but that other attendants from other airlines feel that it is degrading.
A spokesman for Skymark made a public statement that the carrier is not treating its female workers as products. He said that the uniforms in no way affect the safety of the plane. The airline itself has not received any complaints from flight attendants or the union. Furthermore, the mini-dress is only going to be used during a six-month campaign for the warm summer months.