Cross-wearing BA check-in woman accuses airline of ‘culture of hostility’ to Christianity

A British Airways check-in clerk who was suspended for refusing to conceal a small crucifix on a necklace at her post at Heathrow Airport has accused her employers of having a “culture of hostility” to Christianity at an employment tribunal.

When Nadia Eweida was suspended, without pay, in September 2006, she claimed it was her human right to express her faith by having the crucifix on display. She returned to work this February after BA revised its uniform policy.

The case caused a storm and prompted criticism from then prime minister Tony Blair who told British Airways that its attempts to stop staff wearing the crucifix was a waste of energy.

Eweida is claiming discrimination on the grounds of her religion and is seeking £20,000 in back pay and compensation from the airline.

In a statement read to the tribunal hearing, she said: “No other minority group would be treated like I was. The atmosphere in British Airways is one of hostility/suppression of Christianity and Judeo-Christian morality. No other religious group (except the Jews) would suffer as I have done for the wearing of a small cross.”

The case continues in Reading.