London Indymedia

UK Returns to Colonial Slavery with Terminal 5

Anthony Edan | 13.03.2008 16:14 | Social Struggles | Technology | Workers' Movements | London | World

Investigations show that British Airways felt that Black and Asian Males were not good enough to have usefull jobs on the T5 project. They were employed more like 'go for's' and used to carry out mundain tasks. Thhere was not a single black fulltime employee involved in T5 by BA. So what are male ethnic minorty qualified staff worth to the UK? and why do so many black and asians support this kind of a regime by continueing to fly with BA?

While researching for a book on the impact of terrorism on the British ethnic minority qualified workforce I cam across a case registered at the Watford Tribunal (Case Number 3302856/2007)

Further investigation highlighted the involvement of British Police, British Security and a heightened sense of islmaphobia within the airline. Either through ignorance or by design the islmaphobia stereo typed all black and Asian males between the ages of 30 – 50 as being involved in some form of terrorism. It seems that this was used as an excuse by the company to stop employees who fell in this group from having the once in a lifetime opportunity to work on the T5 programme. Yet no one in the UK will condone such actions. So has British society been set back to colonial attitudes and values? Who acres about the qualified workers who fall in this group but can not get employment any where in the country not even in government departments? What is the government doing to discourage such behaviour?

I hope to tackle these issues in my book and documentary. Any constructive information would be most welcome and can be sent to

Tomorrow on 13 March 2008 the world will witness the queen officially opening the New Terminal 5.

Within British Airways (BA) a small group of non ethnic white managers will celebrate a success and the guarantee of a job for life.

What the world, the queen and the British Public will not see or ever hear about is the criminal activity of hate crime openly committed by these senior managers in charge of T5 for British Airways.

The world will never know how once in a lifetime opportunities were denied to ethnic minorities simply because they were the wrong colour. How BA encouraged, funded and supported open racism which was fuled by Islam phobia and total hate of any Asian or African male holding even the most junior management position on the T5 Programme for BA.

The company tries to justify its racism by pointing out that much of the system testing was done by Asians from an Indian Contracting company Tata Consultancy. What they fail to say is that these were contractors who were treated like colonial staff and who had no opporunity of progressing their career within BA. These were not British Born Asian males employed fulltime by the company.

Take for example the fact that within BA’s T5 delivery team their was no British African Male on the project. Out of over 400 employees engaged on T5 can this be acceptable?

Their was not a single male ethnic minority, fulltime employee project manager on T5.

The ethnic minority staff that was given minor roles on the project were treated like colonial slaves.
Managers within the company have been recorded on tape as using terms such as ‘Boy’ and addressing ethnic minority staff in a colonial manner such as ‘fetch my papers Boy’, ‘ who dragged you off the street boy’, ‘ people like you sit around doing nothing ‘ (referring to Asian males within the company.), ‘ we do not see why we should lose out to minority groups’., ‘we do not need any more people like you to work for us ( implying working for BA).

These comments were of course first denied by BA. The comments were recorded .Presented with the recordings the company had no choice but to accept they were made. Despite this no manger was or is ever likely to face any form of discipline by the company. Does this not amount to the same as the company supporting this kind of hate crime?

Compare this to a case I have been made aware of. The only Asian fulltime employee project manager on the T5 program for BA had his employment terminated. The reason given by BA was that his Spoken and Written English were not good enough to work for the company.

The Asian male employee was Born and Educated in the UK. He studied at a former top rated UK Grammar School. He had a Bachelor of engineering first class degree with honours. He had post graduate qualifications in project management.

Prior to joining BA specifically to work on the T5 programme he had enjoyed a very successful 15 year career as a project manager with tier one consultancies. So how is it that only BA had problems with his spoken and written English?

To make matters worst the company accused this individual of spreading ‘white powder’ at their head quarter offices at Waterside in the UK.

The individual concerned started his working life in the late 80’s ( during the hight of the cold war) working on top secret military research based in Abingdon and near a famous necular research plant (decommissioned now). He gave up what some would consider the best years of their life to defend the only country he knows as home, to defend democracy and to make the UK a safe place for every one including the children of today. Did he really deserve to be treated like this?

The trauma, hardship and mental torture that BA allowed to occur in this case over an extended period of time would normally be totally unacceptable to the British Public so why won’t any newspaper or reporter report this very hart rendering story?

Is it possible that if the same thing happened to a white worker at BA it would probably have hit world headlines?

Despite this, even before the case goes to court the tribunal seems to have reached conclusions that favour BA. For example despite that fact that the application was submitted to the tribunal within time limits the tribunal has ordered a pre hearing to discuss if the case was submitted in time. The rules are clear; the submission must be made within three months less one day. The last straw came in a letter from BA to the individual on 10 September 2007. The application to the court was raised on 31 November 2007. The individual’s employment with BA was terminated on 23 August 2007. The individual raised a grievance on 24 August 2007 which extends the time limit to six months less a day. The company responded by denying the individual his statutory rite to raise a grievance against the racially motivated termination of his employment (i.e. because BA terminated his employment on the grounds of his spoken and written English). BA responded on 10 September 2007. The tribunal are fully aware of these events and dates so why have they accepted an appeal from BA to consider the application as having been made out of time. The maths do not add up.

BA threatened the individual sateing he would never work in the UK again if he took his case to an employment tribunal.

Despite having worked to defend the UK and protect its security, there is not a single person or organisation willing to employ the individual now. He can not even get a job filling shelves in a supermarket.

Is this really how Britain wants to treat and thank those that do pledge allegiance to the UK and to the queen? What kind of example does this set to young Asian and Black males about their worth in British Society? What encouragement do these give ethnic minorities to cooperate and work with the interest of the country in mind?

I hope that in a democratic society some one will chose to expose the misery and hardship caused by BA to ethnic minorities using the economic importance of T5 as an excuse to openly break the law and discriminate against ethnic minorities.

Anthony Edan
- e-mail:


South Coast

Other UK IMCs
Bristol/South West
Northern Indymedia

London Topics

Animal Liberation
Climate Chaos
Energy Crisis
Free Spaces
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Public sector cuts
Social Struggles
Terror War
Workers' Movements

London IMC


About | Contact
Mission Statement
Editorial Guidelines
Publish | Help

Search :