In the latest twist in the ongoing BA cabin crew dispute, Unite union has alleged the airline may have leaked employees’ private information to the press.
Unite union represents around 13,000 BA cabin crew. It has challenged BA to explain how confidential information relating to cabin crew earnings, holiday records and unlisted home addresses fell into the hands of Daily Mail journalists in the run up to proposed industrial action last December.
The information subsequently formed the basis of a story printed in the paper. Unite says the article caused “tremendous distress” to the individuals concerned and stoked a great deal of public resentment against cabin crew generally.
The union has written to the Information Commissioner, the body charged with ensuring the Data Protection Act 1998 is upheld, to request an immediate investigation into the leak.
Len McCluskey, Unite assistant general secretary, said that the data protection breach has important ramifications for all BA’s 40,000 workers:
“An employer is duty-bound to keep the private information it holds on its employees confidential.
“We have asked the Information Commissioner to investigate this disclosure urgently. While it awaits the Commissioner’s findings, BA must take immediate steps to reassure its workforce that the data it holds on them will never again fall into the wrong hands.
“Further, if it is found that this information was deliberately leaked to the newspaper to whip up anti-cabin crew sentiment, then this must be viewed as a deliberate act of malice and Unite will demand that BA takes the necessary actions in relation to those concerned.
“At the very least, while the Information Commissioner undertakes this investigation, BA should issue a full apology to our members who have been caused such distress by this grave breach of their privacy.”
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