27 November 2010

JETSTAR WHISTLEBLOWER SACKED - Pilots union issue threat after Jetstar whistleblower Joe Eakins sacked

Jetstar pilot Joe Eakins has been fired by the airline

UPDATE 4:17pm: JETSTAR will be challeged over claims its fired a whistleblower who criticised the budget airline for "diminishing safety standards", the pilot's union says.

First Officer Joe Eakins, 31, criticised cost-cutting at Jetstar and the plan to hire air crews based in Singapore "on wages well below their Australian-based colleagues" and what effect this would have on passenger safety.

Eakins has been sacked for breaching company policy of speaking publicly about the airline in an article published last month.

"I am shocked and saddened they have chosen to react this way," he told the Herald Sun.

"I've been a good employee and I'm shocked any company would sack an employee for raising their concerns about safety and industrial issues, especially in the airline industry."

His said his treatment by the company did not "bode well for any other pilot with safety concerns".

"I believe the concerns I voiced were reasonable and legitimate," Mr Eakins said on Friday.

"I was acting within my rights as a union representative who advanced views of the association.

"I think Jetstar's actions were unwarranted and unjustified."

The airline disagrees, saying his claims are are “untrue”.

"The employee chose to publicly make incorrect accusations on multiple and separate occasions against Jetstar with the effect of misleading the travelling public," the airline said in a statement.

The Australian and International Pilots Association had said earlier this week it was prepared to take the case to the High Court and did not ruled out pursuing industrial action.

Association president Barry Jackson described Eakins as a whistleblower and hero to the Australian aviation community.

"Joe's bravery in blowing the whistle on some of these practices has been rewarded by an unfair dismissal," Captain Jackson said.

"The association will be taking Joe's case to Fair Work Australia, claiming unfair dismissal and making an adverse-action claim under untested Fair Work laws.

"The association is calling on all federal parliamentarians to carefully consider the implications of this shocking case."

Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway confirmed the first officer had been sacked "after a standard and lengthy process" for bringing the company into disrepute and said there were many "internal measures" for raising safety concerns.

"The Australian aviation sector is at a crossroads. Not only are the dreams of the youngsters who look skyward at risk, but the institutions that created our reputation for safety through well trained experienced pilots is under threat, which is bad news for all Australians."


10 November 2010

NEWS - Will Sexual Harrassment Ever End? UK Sales manager 'put female colleague over his knee and spanked her'

A sales manager chased a female colleague around the office, put her across his knee and spanked her as well as encouraging other women to grab his genitals.

Peter Smith also sat female staff on his knee and looked at sex toys and blow up dolls on the internet, an employment tribunal was told.

Mr Smith and some of his colleagues are accused of bullying and and harassing former sales executive Angelina Ashby who worked for a marine supplies firm.

Sexual harassment: Angelina Ashby says she suffered at the hands of boss Pete Smith from marine supplies firm Cathelco

Sexual harassment: Angelina Ashby says she suffered at the hands of boss Pete Smith from marine supplies firm Cathelco

Miss Ashby, 40, told the Sheffield tribunal she was ostracised by staff for two years who teased her, talked about her in derogatory way, sent emails about and excluded her from office banter.

She also claimed they drew insulting cartoons about her weight which drove her to taking anti-depressants.

Miss Ashby, from Chesterfield, started working for the firm in June 2003 as a sales executive for Cathelco.

She said problems began in September 2006 when Mr Smith became her sales manager.

She said: 'I was subjected to a continuous course of mistreatment.

'A few days after my formal grievance was submitted Laura Holland, a sales administrator was chased round the office by Pete Smith, who then proceeded to put her over his knee and spank her.'

Her complaint was investigated by bosses but she resigned in October 2008. Miss Ashby said: 'Peter Smith would often make me feel uncomfortable.

'On one occasion he took his time to view sex toys, such as blow up dolls on the internet.

'He was more than aware I could see his screen as I sat directly behind and seemed to take his time viewing the website.'

Miss Ashby added: 'Pete Smith also used to sit female staff on his knee and stroke their hair and he would stand behind their chairs to do the same. I found it disconcerting and uncomfortable.'

She claimed Mr Smith also 'successfully encouraged' female staff to feel his genitals.

She is claiming constructive dismissal, sexual discrimination and pay discrimination against the firm, which supplies products to the marine industry to prevent metal corrosion and algae sticking to vessels.

The firm denies the allegations.

The tribunal was halted because one of the tribunal panel knew a witness. It will start again before a new panel next year.