A Japanese discount airline is facing some backlash after it decided to make its flight attendants wear sexy, revealing mini-skirts. Some have criticized the airline on its decision saying that it promotes sexual harassment.
The cabin crew's labor union for Skymark Airlines is not happy with the airline's decision to make its crew wear super-short skirts that barely cover the thighs of the women.
"We're concerned that the design of this uniform may cause problems," like sexual harassment, the Japan Federation of Cabin Attendants said according to AFP.
"The airline is saying the uniform is meant to attract more customers, but this shows the company is treating women like a commodity," it added.
The blue short-skirt uniforms were introduced as part of an announcement that the airline will fly 10 Airbus A330-300s for the first time on its Haneda-Fukuoka flights this spring. Flight attendants have found that it isn't functional for their job as it rises up when they stretch high up or kneel down. Several posted comments on the union's website saying that they won't be comfortable working because they are too worried about customers staring or taking pictures up their skirt with a camera phone.
The union released a statement to The Japan Times saying "Article 73-3 of the Civil Aeronautics Act states 'prohibition of safety-impeding acts,' which includes sexual harassment. The duties of cabin attendants are to prevent these (incidents) beforehand, but we are concerned that the design of the uniform might induce such disturbing acts."
"Moreover, (Skymark) is treating women as products, as it is advertising that this uniform will attract customers," the union continued. "We have to doubt the morality of the company, which should make safety its number one priority," it said.
The airline reportedly disputed the union claims. However Skymark president Shinichi Nishikubo reportedly said last week that "We won't impose the uniform on any of the cabin attendants who refuse to wear it," AFP says. "It is disappointing that the outfit designed in part for the ad campaign is being seen in a distorted way."