American will change uniform maker after employee complaints

Markets Associated Press

American Airlines will change uniform suppliers after employees complained the uniforms were causing reactions from hives to wheezing.

Continue Reading Below

American told employees Wednesday that it will not renew a contract with Twin Hill, a division of Houston-based Tailored Brands Inc., when the deal expires in 2020.

The uniforms for 70,000 employees were announced with much fanfare last year. The flight attendants' union, however, says it has received more than 3,500 complaints about bad reactions.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines Group Inc. says tests show the new uniforms are safe. Still, it's letting employees wear older uniforms, from before the 2016 revamp, if they prefer.

The airline says a new supplier will use different fabrics.

Twin Hill said the "alleged reactions" involved only a small portion of the airline's employees. The company said it had not been given any evidence linking the uniforms to employees' symptoms, but it agreed to part with American rather than face costs and risk to its reputation from "continued unfounded allegations about the safety of our garments."