BA crucifix appeal rejected

20-11-2006

BA crucifix appeal rejected
A Christian prevented from wearing an uncovered crucifix while working for British Airways (BA) has lost her attempt to have the decision overturned.

Nadia Eweida, who has worked as a BA check-in worker for the last seven years, had filed a complaint after she was suspended for refusing to remove the crucifix while at work last month.

Today Ms Eweida, 55, revealed that BA had upheld its decision to suspend her.

"I am fairly disappointed but I am looking forward to the next stage because… the truth has to be revealed," she told the BBC, apparently threatening to take the case to court now that the internal BA procedure has been rejected.

"It is an expression of my faith, based on the Christian religion which I adhere to, his coming back in glory to take me home with him," she explained, referring to her crucifix.

"I didn't realise that the cross would carry such weight but it only confirms and brings me closer to my faith because Jesus is alive," she added.

Ms Eweida claims the suspension is discriminatory especially since the airline allows Sikh employees to wear traditional iron bangles and Muslim workers are permitted to wear head scarves.

But BA have rejected this claim, arguing that staff are permitted to wear the cross so long as they do so underneath their uniform.

"Our uniformed staff, many thousands of whom are Christian, have happily accepted the policy for years," BA said in a statement.

"The policy recognises that it is not practical for some religious symbols – such as turbans and hijabs – to be worn underneath the uniform. This is purely a question of practicality. There is no discrimination between faiths whatsoever."

Ms Eweida has rejected an offer to work for the airline in a non-uniformed post and plans on undergoing a second appeal within the company's disciplinary procedure, BA said.


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