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Published on Friday, August 28, 2020

BA rejects union discrimination claims






British Airways has rejected union claims it has discriminated against BAME workers in its cost cutting program at Gatwick Airport.


Unite said it has evidence of 'potential widespread jobs discrimination' among cabin crew.


The union said 61% of BAME flying staff who responded to a survey have been made compulsorily redundant compared to 41% who identify as being white.


Officials added that BA 'refused to cooperate' after being asked to conduct an Equality Impact Assessment before making job cuts.


Unite described the survey results as 'truly shocking'.


BA rejected the claims, stressing its selection process was based on performance, attendance and skills.


"As a global company we promote an inclusive culture and our commitment remains to improve the diversity of our teams," the airline said in a statement.


"This restructuring has been an incredibly difficult and painful process for everyone involved, caused by a crisis not of our making.


"Our selection criteria are fair and non-discriminatory, focusing on performance, attendance and skills. We consulted fully with Unite on these criteria.


"Ethnicity was not a factor in our selection process as this would be both discriminatory against other groups and unlawful."


Unite said the survey showed there were no black onboard Customer Service Managers (CSMs), the majority having been made compulsorily redundant, wiht demoted.


It claimed 80% of mixed race cabin crew who responded to the survey have been made compulsorily redundant, along with 67% of Asian crew and 83% of Muslim flying staff.


According to the union young people and disabled staff members were also axed.


Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: "Unite's findings are truly shocking and we are calling on the airline to swiftly assess the disproportionate impact project fire and rehire is having on BAEM staff.


"Our survey clearly reveals that compulsory redundancies have disproportionately impacted these workers at Gatwick.

"These shocking findings are in addition to the terrible treatment that all BA staff are being subjected to. Britain is proudly diverse but our national flag carrier stands accused of potential widespread jobs discrimination amongst its Gatwick cabin crew."


Harish Patel Unite national BAEM equalities officer added: "Unite called on BA to conduct an equality impact assessment before it pressed ahead with its forced redundancies, which we have been dedicated to preventing, but the airline refused to work with us. The survey found that BAEM workers, the disabled and younger staff have all been disproportionately impacted."

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