Amicus calls for inquiry into bullying at Heathrow and Gatwick

The
Amicus union has called on the aviation industry to launch an inquiry after a
specially set up hotline revealed a culture of bullying and abuse at Heathrow
and Gatwick.

The
hotline, set up at the two airports by workplace bullying specialists the Andrea
Adams Trust, for two weeks in July, received calls from more than 150 workers –
91 per cent of whom were from ethnic minorities.

The
most extreme report was from a young woman who claimed she was locked in a cold
store for 15 minutes to teach her a lesson because she complained about another
employee touching her inappropriately.

The
majority of cases reported comments regarding colour and religion, from people
who felt that they were not integrated into the main group because of their
ethnicity.

One
manager stated that while he recognised that bullying behaviour could be
witnessed all around the airport, most victims simply keep their heads down and
get on with it.

This
is a result of genuine fear regarding raising any complaint of bullying, as
they felt it would either lead to  further intimidation, or the
loss of their jobs, Amicus warned.

Gordon
White, national secretary for civil aviation at Amicus, said: "Bullying is
a disaster for morale, attendance and productivity. We are calling upon
employers to get their houses in order for the sake of their staff and their
businesses.

“We
will be writing to employers, and we expect them to work with the union to boot
the bullies out of the airports," he said

Amicus
– which has received £1.8m of funding from the Department of Trade and Industry
to work with employers to tackle workplace bullying – is writing to all
businesses where the union has recognition in the airports, inviting them to
work with it to tackle the root causes of bullying.

Personnel Today will be revealing the
findings of an in-depth workplace bullying survey, carried out with the Andrea
Adams Trust, on September 28

By Daniel Thomas 

 

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