Tuesday, July 17, 2012

British Airways steward says he was sacked after 'antisemitic' row 

An air steward has claimed British Airways sacked him after a row with a colleague who allegedly shouted antisemitic abuse.

Jean-Paul Van der Velde told an employment tribunal that an argument erupted in a New York bar when BA staff discussed the Nazis and the alleged tirade left the Jewish steward "shocked and insulted".

But Mr Van der Velde, whose father survived two concentration camps, was dismissed following the March 2010 incident when colleague Paul Meek appeared the following day with a black eye and claimed he had been headbutted.

A month later Northern Ireland-based Mr Van der Velde was suspended by BA and was ultimately dismissed in August that year. He is claiming unfair dismissal.
BA crew manager Marc Learoyd told Watford Employment Tribunal that Mr Meek had claimed he had been berated by his Jewish colleague for living in Germany and had then been assaulted during the ensuing bar row.

None of the pair's colleagues witnessed the fight, but BA later conducted an internal investigation and dismissed Mr Van der Velde for misconduct.

The tribunal continues.


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