Unite, Britain and Ireland's biggest union, has revealed evidence of potential widespread jobs discrimination amongst British Airways cabin crew based at London Gatwick.

The airline, which has been labelled a 'national disgrace' by MPs, has pressed ahead with its plans to fire and rehire its workforce, also making thousands of staff redundant.

Unite had raised concerns with BA that the airline's planned redundancy selections could negatively impact the already low representation of BAEM workers amongst cabin crew at London Gatwick (7 per cent before the redundancies, compared to 13% nationally and 40% in London). Unite called on British Airways to conduct an Equality Impact Assessment before making job cuts but the airline refused to cooperate with the union.

Unite conducted its own Equality Impact survey which the union described as "truly shocking".

Under half (41%) of workers who identify as white have been made compulsorily redundant or have been demoted. The majority (61%) of BAEM flying staff respondents have been made compulsorily redundant.

Results also showed that:

  • there are now no black onboard Customer Service Managers (CSMs). The majority have been made compulsorily redundant and one has been demoted.

  • 80% of mixed race cabin crew who responded to the survey have been made compulsorily redundant.

  • 67% of Asian crew have been made compulsorily redundant and 83% of British Airways Muslim flying staff have either been made compulsorily redundant or demoted.

Unite's equality impact assessment also found:

  • that all the CSMs who are under 25 have been selected for redundancy or have been demoted. All CSMs with a disability who participated in the survey have been made redundant or demoted as well as

  • 71% of cabin crew employees who are caring for a family member with a disability.

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 & 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 said: “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.”


For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315