American Union Slam Etihad, UAE Airlines for Being Unfair to Female Employees

While most big organizations are known for their employee friendly policies, and especially take good care of women when they go on maternity leaves, it seems some big organizations still have discriminatory labor practices, especially towards female employees.

American flight attendants union has waged a public campaign against several United Arab Emirates Airlines, including Etihad for their discriminatory labour practices towards women. Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, who’s also United Nations women’s goodwill Ambassador, was caught in the crossfire, as she recently appeared for a new ad campaign for Etihad airways.

Here’s the TV Commercial (Flying Reimagined) featuring Nicole Kidman for Etihad Airways

Association of Professional Flight Attendants president Laura Glading requested Australian actor Nicole Kidman to quit endorsing Etihad Airways in ads. “The 25,000 members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants greatly admire and appreciate your efforts to advance women’s rights around the world as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Using your profile and stature for such a noble endeavor is commendable. However, we believe those efforts are at odds with your prominent role in an advertising campaign for Etihad Airways. The United Arab Emirates and their airlines are well-known in our industry for their discriminatory labor practices and deplorable treatment of female employees.” Glading stated in the letter to Nicole Kidman.

Glading said that even wall street had publicly reported that Etihad ‘may fire employees if they became pregnant’ and forces flight attendants to live in ‘confinement’ in secure compounds.

However, Etihad defended its policies toward flight attendants who become pregnant:

“Etihad fully supports its cabin crew during and after their pregnancy. When a cabin crew member informs Etihad of a pregnancy, she is provided with appropriate ground duties for the duration of their pregnancy. During this time, she remains fully compensated and fully engaged on the ground. Cabin crew are also entitled to paid maternity leave if they have completed more than one year’s service. Our cabin crew are then able to return to their flying role at the end of their maternity leave period. The health and safety of our cabin crew remains paramount. Therefore, we follow the GCAA [UAE General Civil Aviation Authority] requirement that crew do not continue to fly while pregnant.”

But doesn’t Etihad Airways have flight attendants from over 100 different nationalities? And it also has a white western lady to promote their inflight products? It seems there’s more to this than what meets the eye.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.