Sun, Nov 26, 2006
Agrees To Review Its Uniform Policy On Threat Of Sale
A British Airways
check-in worker has been on administrative leave for several weeks
after she refused to remove a crucifix she wears on a necklace. BA
says its uniform policy doesn't allow the wear of religious
After BA denied Nadia Eweida's appeal, the Church of England's
archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams joined the fray.
Speaking in Rome on Friday, Williams told reporters he had
contacted the church's investment advisory body, the Ethical
Investment Advisory Group (EIAG), to discuss the sale of the
Church's shares in the airline worth nearly $20 million.
A few hours after that bombshell from Williams, BA announced it
will review its uniform policy claiming it had been unfairly
accused of being anti-Christian.
As ANN reported, Nadia Eweida
was told to go home after she refused to remove her crucifix. She
appealed that action arguing that Muslim and Hindu BA employees are
allowed to wear religious headgear and "bangles." That appeal was
denied sparking this latest action by the Church.
Eweida has since filed a second appeal; the airline is to
announce its decision next month. Eweida refuses to return to
work until she is allowed to wear her crucifix.
The Church's holdings in the airline represents a rather small
portion of its overall worth, but Williams' influence as the leader
of the Church of England makes him a force with a world-wide
Anglican community numbering some 77 million. That influence in a
boycott action could prove costly to the airline.
BA's CEO Willie Walsh, while not actually saying the policy
would change, told Guardian Unlimited "Our staff has suggested that
we allow the wearing of religious symbols as small lapel badges.
This will be considered as part of the review".
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