British Airways’ female cabin crew members have secured the right to wear trousers if they wish, bringing a two-year dispute over the airline’s dress code to an end.
The recent concession applies to BA’s so called ‘Mixed Fleet’, a category of crew created in 2010, which were hired on inferior terms and conditions. The ‘Mixed Fleet’ was employed under these terms and conditions following the 2010 and 2011 strikes.
For female cabin crew trousers were included in the BA uniform, which was designed by Julien McDonald in 2001. Although a different look was conveyed for the ‘Mixed Fleet’ team, which accounts for 3,000 of British Airways 17,000 members of cabin crew. Prior to the change females in the ‘Mixed Fleet’ had to wear a skirt unless exempt on religious or medical grounds.
The crew’s union, Unite, said that 83% of its members wanted the option of wearing trousers for warmth and protection. Unite have also said that BA will be “joining the 21st century” by making this altercation, the decision was made after an internal test case.
Unite’s regional officer Matt Smith has remarked “It was ridiculous that 46 years after the ‘Made in Dagenham’ women won the right to equal pay that companies like British Airways were still employing old fashioned views and treating women differently. British Airways’ stance was unbefitting of a modern airline in the modern age”.
Whilst confirming the change in the uniform rules, a BA spokesman stated, “Our Mixed Fleet team wear the ‘ambassador’ British Airways uniform. While trousers are not a standard part of this uniform, colleagues wishing to wear them can request this through their manager”.
Only crew members within EasyJet are routinely able to wear trousers, with other airline companies such as Ryanair, Etihad and Virgin Atlantic vouching for a non-trouser policy for its staff members.
TNT News Billy Rooney