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World Emirates Issues Clarification After Sikh Pilot Alleges Discrimination


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Emirates issues clarification after Sikh pilot alleges discrimination

Days after a Sikh pilot alleged discrimination by the Gulf-based Emirates Airlines, the airlines has issued a clarification. Emirates Airlines has said that wearing a hat on duty is mandatory for all pilots. The pilot had said that after being shortlisted for an interview he was turned down only because he wears a turban. CNN-IBN accessed the email exchange between the airline and the pilot. He has been a pilot for almost nine years now, flying more than 5,500 hours both nationally and internationally. But after being shortlisted for an interview with gulf-based Emirates airlines, he didn't get the job because he is a turbaned Sikh. "I got to know from my friends that there is a bias against turbaned Sikhs and I laughed that such a big company would never do that.

In the subsequent mails I sent, it was a shocker for me. I was told I need not come as there is a rule being followed and they are not making any changes," he said. ALSO SEE Sikh pilot alleges Emirates denied him a job because he wears a turban To clear any doubts, he emailed a photograph to Emirates. The response was quick. Barely a week before the final round, he was told that since the hat is a mandatory part of the uniform, he had been disqualified. Emirates issues clarification afer Sikh pilot alleges discrimination Emirates Airlines has said that wearing a hat on duty is mandatory for all pilots. "If they have any policy against turbaned Sikhs they should come forward and it should be mentioned that turbaned Sikhs should not apply. I applied, I got a call, was about to leave and just for my satisfaction wanted to know if there was a certain bias and to my shock got to know that there was a bias that is currently going on. It is uncalled for, unheard of. If you do fulfill the requirements, you should be taken on merit rather than on your religious belief or the way you look," the pilot said. Turbaned Sikh pilots are flying aircraft across the world. And considering the turban is an integral part of their culture, several airlines have an exception to their uniform rules. But the emails, a copy of which is available with CNN-IBN clearly indicate how the existing uniform code of Emirates ensures that an entire community is literally banned from working with one of the world's largest airlines.

Read more at: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/emirates...mination/432562-3.html?utm_source=ref_article

Mai Harinder Kaur

Oct 5, 2006
British Columbia, Canada
As much as I detest this sort of discrimination, the UAE is a sovereign nation and United Arab Emirates Airlines has a right to set their own rules. However, they do have an obligation to be clear and up front about what those rules are.

They have a right to be wrong. And really, really stupid.