OA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 28241 posts, RR: 60 Posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10196 times:
Apparantly a few ground staff employed by MEA were caught in a racism incident. MEA have even posted on their Facebook page due to huge publicity on this. If true this is certainly not acceptable and Im sure Skyteam will also be watching this carfefully as to how MEA handle it . If found guilty they should loose their jobs.
To our loyal customers and fans,
We are aware of the purported incident that took place on the 6th October 2012 at Beirut International Airport, and appreciate your patience while a full investigation by MEA is underway. Please rest assured that MEAs policy is not to tolerate discriminatory or racist behavior in any form from our employees, and that appropriate measures will be taken once the facts of the incident are brought to light.
Racism at Beirut Airport! My personal hands-on experience.
Yesterday on the 6th of October I was at gate 11 with a friend of mine waiting to board the Air Arabia flight at 20:25.
While waiting to board there was a group of foreign workers sitting with the rest of the passengers waiting for their turn. They were behaving normally as any other group of passengers would. Then sadly, the lady (looking at her uniform she apparently works for MEA Ground Services and not Air Arabia) at the gate announced on loud speaker (over the whole system covering the airport) the following: “Filipino people stop talking”; then she started giggling about it with the macho gentleman who was with her at the gate. They continued their racist behavior by announcing again “Filipino Nepal people talking not allowed here” and on and on.
clydenairways From Ireland, joined Jan 2007, 1371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9892 times:
Quoting chootie (Reply 2):
They should be sacked and anyone who feels the some way, should loose their jobs also.
They can have opinons etc... but be professional and leave them at home before you go to work.
I'd say this is unlikely that anything will happen to them at all.
If there are any Anti-Racism laws they are clearly not enforced, which is quite obvious from the response when challenged by the person who witnessed the event.
HOONS90 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 3212 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9436 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW CHAT OPERATOR
What a terrible public relations nightmare for the airline. That's the power of social media, I guess. I wonder if those two ground staff members ever thought about this incident making it onto the airline's Facebook page. Now there will be a lot of public pressure for the airline to discipline those two staff members involved.
What goes around comes around.
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8371 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9061 times:
Lebanon is one of my favourite countries in the world for it's long history, beautiful landscapes and talented, intelligent people. Alas, they are also incredibly racist and you should read this article to learn more.
Hopefully as the world becomes smaller and our eyes keep opening, the Lebanese* will evolve and this kind of thing will become extinct.
* and, let's face it, almost all other countries - what do Australians, my tribe, say about "Lebbos", what do Lebanon's neighbours in Israel say about Arabs, what do Indians say about Pakistanis? And this is a list that could go on forever - we have to do much better than this.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
raffik From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 1733 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 8599 times:
This is nothing new in Lebanon. Their treatment of black people and Fillipinos, Sri Lankas etc is disgraceful.
They are treated like second rate people and are often mistreated by Lebanese families who employ them
as domestic assistance.
Beirut International Airport is the only airport I've been to where there is a dedicated seating / waiting area for
domestic staff, well away from other people.
I am Lebanese myself and I find it awful.
This isn't actually MEA's fault- this problem is cultural.
EASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 682 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8099 times:
Airline staff working the ground face so any problems, especially with international handling. I used to grinch when apporched by Indians or Pakes with their hordes of baggage. "Would you be so kind as allow us to check 400lbs for nothing? Sorry, no as your are over 70 lbs and how do you expect our guys to lift it....I'm not...OH the arguments. I was raised a middle class guy from a simple suburb. No predudise to anyone. Then I started traveling the world.......and found sooooo many cool people and cultures and some not so.....is NYC cab drivers LOLLOLOLm
mozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2276 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5886 times:
What do you expect in an environment where the national airline (MEA) in its onboard magazines has a page with "quotes from famous people" which includes not only Gerswhin and Hemingway but also a certain "A. Hitler"?
In my almost daily interaction with people from Lebanon (some living there, some expats) and from my frequent visits I find that a small proportion of them are outstandingly cosmpopolitan, open-minded and cultivated. But the large majority are openly racist, sexist, and lack a sense of civic behaviour. They like to stress their distinctiviness from other "Arab" nations and portray themselves as a satellite of European values and civilization. Sorry to say that they are not. This is not to say that there are no racist incidents in Europe (look at the anti-Semitism in its violent form erupting in France right now). But in Europe it is a phenomenon at the margins and it is sanctioned by the law. In Lebanon it is more or less mainstream and more or less accepted.
fridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5593 times:
I've just returned from working in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait for the last eight years and spent a lot of time with Filipino and Nepalese workers and they are the kindest, most respectful and incredibly friendly people I've ever met.
Those MEA staff involved should be body slammed on their way out the door! We all have enough problems in this world and those kind of attitudes have no place in this world.
The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
DrColenzo From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2012, 146 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5151 times:
I am quite disappointed to hear this has happened in Lebanon, which is one of the more relaxed and progressive countries in the Middle East.
My ten cents worth is that this is par for the course in many countries in the region, Filipino and other workers are treated abysmally and the human rights record with regards to people of other religions, ethic groups, woman and gay people in so many of these nations is frankly atrocious. I don't take the national sovereignty view on this, human rights are human rights and I feel uncomfortable with the west turning a blind eye in the name of oil, we should be better than this.
As for MEA and the behaviour of its staff, again I am disappointed but why am I not surprised? However, I have seen some pretty crappy behaviour towards migrant workers in airports in Saudi* and the UEA and so to use the phrase again, could this just be par for the course for the treatment of migrant workers in the region? Certainly on Saudia and Etihad I have seen some crappy behaviour to migrant workers returning home, but not as bad as what you have described happening in Beirut.
*During my time in the forces; I had the glorious secret pleasure of being in Saudi and having Israeli parentage on my maternal side...Jews are banned by Saudi law from entering the Kingdom but whether this is actually enforced I don't know.
faro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4908 times:
Quoting OD720 (Reply 17):
The sad part is that she probably still doesn't realize that there was anything wrong in her behavior.
The good part is that MEA management, being responsible, progressive and intolerant of such behaviour will shortly undertake an investigation, identify said employee and deal with her in an exemplary manner. Furthermore it will make this public and announce in no uncertain terms that MEA -in regard of the international nature of its operations- adheres to a strict, zero-tolerance policy on racism.
Thank you in advance MEA for doing the right thing; we all await your press release...
raffik From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 1733 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4772 times:
Quoting mozart (Reply 14): What do you expect in an environment where the national airline (MEA) in its onboard magazines has a page with "quotes from famous people" which includes not only Gerswhin and Hemingway but also a certain "A. Hitler"?
I remember you mentioning this in August. On which MEA flight were you on that had this in the magazine?
I honestly do not think that MEA is a "racist" airline- they operate multiple routes to Africa and have done for many, many years now. They also served Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka etc.
What happened at Beirut airport was down to one (Stupid) woman who is employed by MEAG- a separate company which is owned by MEA. So firstly, we need to separate this. Racism is not endemic at the airline.
However, the cabin crew can be utterly miserable to all passengers- whether you're Lebanese, English., American etc.
There is a problem with their training, that's for sure.
Racism very much exists in general in Lebanon- the massive influx of workers from Sri Lanka, Phillipines etc who travel to the country to work as nannies or maids etc. Some of them are so mis treated that there is a high rate of suicide- they literally will throw themselves from the balconies of their employer's apartments.
It makes me cringe sometimes when I'm in Beirut and you see rich Lebanese families with their nannies- sitting with the children, not eating anything, outcasts. But then there are families who treat them very well.
Lebanon needs laws in place to counter racism- it is happening but the country has other problems at the moment and with the current government, equality issues are of low importance.
I will sign off saying that I have been on the receiving end of racist abuse here in the UK for being mixed race and I witnessed many racist attacks against my father when I was growing up. Lebanon isn't the only place it happens unfortunately and I think that it probably happens everywhere
usdcaguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1108 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4714 times:
It seems like places with a view of the water, plentiful sun, beautiful white people and a flashy cafe culture are rather oblivious to the dignity of the poor and the dark. The Lebanese should not take their country and culture for granted; it's one of the most beautiful in the world. It will only remain so if they also respect the dignity of those who do not look like them or embody the type of person they think they should be or date. I realize most of them are not that superficial, but I do sense that aesthetics and image on the affluent Mediterranean are given outsize importance when so many suffer in the surrounding countries. Southern California is another example of where one may find this attitude.
raffik From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 1733 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4556 times:
Middle East Airlines - Air Liban
To our loyal fans and customers,
Having investigated the issue that occurred on the 6th October, 2012 at Rafik Hariri Intl. Airport - Beirut, which involved misbehavior by a MEAG (subsidiary of MEA) passenger service agent, we would like to issue the following statement.
This type of behavior represents an isolated case, and is 100% against MEA’s policy.
It does not fit within MEA’s culture, and furthermore goes contrary to our training procedures.
Severe disciplinary action has been taken against the staff concerned.
Kindly rest assured that our goal is to attain the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
OA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 28241 posts, RR: 60
Reply 26, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4488 times:
Racism is a problem in every country in the world in various ways . The worst offenders are where the society and its authorities are part of it and turn a blind eye to it. In an Airline like MEA and at the BEY Airport there should be strict procedures for this kind of behaviour. This is gross misconduct which should be a sack able offence. People would think twice if they knew they would loose their jobs and MEA should also advise them they would not offer them a reference for further jobs.
MEA and BEY should mount an anti racism training course for all employees if they are really serious about stamping it out at their work place. Mind you in a country where the two communities often hate each other and racism is rife between those communities that might be hard.
I see on the FB page that people are calling to have the details and names of those involved. I wouldn't go that far as the employees do still have rights themselves and all companies deal with these things internally. If however an individual involved decides to post online then I wouldn't blame them for doing so .