CLEVELAND — Air traffic controllers locked in a staffing dispute with the government are upset over a dress code and have shown their displeasure with high-flying fashion, with some men protesting by wearing women’s clothing.
On a few occasions over the past year, male controllers have worn dresses to work, according to the controllers’ union, the 15,000-member National Air Traffic Controllers Association. The point was to illustrate the silliness of the dress code because there is nothing barring male controllers from wearing dresses, union spokesman Doug Church said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the dress code, instituted in September, was meant to create a professional atmosphere. It bars jogging outfits, hats, halter tops, shorts and jeans. Approved clothing items include dress slacks, casual shirts with collars and sweaters. Midnight-shift workers are exempt.
At the FAA’s Cleveland Air Route Control Center in Oberlin, a controller was told his aquamarine pants were “not gender appropriate,” Church said. Cory said she was unfamiliar with the incident.
She said there have been only rare instances of outrageous outfits meant to create a stir while technically complying with the dress code.
What not to wear
Jeans, shorts, jogging or sweat clothing; T-shirts or any shirts with lettering on them; “revealing, ripped or disheveled” clothing; all hats.