Delta has announced it is in the process of designing a new uniform for its flight attendants and customer service staff, after a lawsuit was issued on behalf by staff claiming the current uniforms made them sick.
The airline, which counts Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as one of its major hubs, announced Wednesday it will roll out new uniforms by late 2021, and is making changes to its existing uniform in the interim.
It comes after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of 525 staff in January against Lands' End, the Wisconsin-based clothing manufacturer whose new uniforms debuted on May 29, 2018.
Per NBC News, some workers said they had suffered severe respiratory illnesses, rashes, blisters, boils, hair loss, hives, sinus problems, headaches, fatigue, nosebleeds and anxiety, which they blame on the uniforms.
The uniforms were described as "high stretch, wrinkle and stain-resistant, waterproof, anti-static and deodorizing," but workers claims they are suffering allergic reactions to chemical additives in the clothes to achieve those effects.
"At Delta, our people are the foundation for our success," said Ekrem Dimbiloglu, the director of Delta's new uniform program. "In response to our employees, we’ve taken steps over the past few months to address feedback received about the uniform, including offering alternative garments, hiring fabric experts, and conducting comprehensive chemical testing.
"This is a big decision, but we side with our people, and we are making a change."
The airline says it will use the uniform launch to "identify more sustainable textile practices, taking greater control of the production process and offering employees a greater choice of garments."
Staff who wish to have new, alternative uniforms in the meantime are able to do so.
An estimated 65,000 employees were issued the new uniforms following its launch almost two years ago.