British Airways (BA) has been labelled ageist by cabin staff forced to
retire after reaching the age of 55.
Deanna-Maria Williams (pictured left) is challenging the airline’s policy,
along with 300 former cabin crew colleagues in test cases before an employment
Williams protested outside BA’s annual shareholders’ meeting in London last
week and demanded that stewardesses be allowed to work to 60 or 65.
The airline has said it would consider extending the retirement age limit
when legislation outlawing age discrimination comes into force in 2006.
At the same meeting, a BA director angered cabin crew by implying a rise in
absenteeism in summer was down to skiving.
Operations director Mike Street said BA was encouraging staff to move to
part-time contracts as part of a cost-cutting scheme, but that part-timers
tended to "take that extra day".