British Airways has issued a notice and stated that it is looking into “abusive, rude and disrespectful comments” made by its own staff on the airline’s new designer uniform.
The outfit was created by British-Ghanaian tailor Ozwald Boateng and unveiled last week with much excitement. A costly pilot’s strike and the pandemic were just two of the many delays that caused the design process to take close to five years.
More than 1,500 workers contributed to the creation of the new uniform line, which included a distinctive jumpsuit that has been compared to the boiler suit used by the fictitious serial killer Hannibal Lecter.
On internal social media platforms, there have been hundreds of comments, some of which are really offensive.
The placement of a sizable bright red triangle cut-out in the skirt and dress, as well as a see-through’ shirt and macho collar design, have drawn criticism from female employees. Workers are also angry that a handbag was left out of the final design due to cost-cutting measures.
The airline said in an internal statement that several of its own employees had recently made offensive, insulting, and disparaging comments on social media.
The memo continued: “We know everyone has individual styles and preferences, but this kind of behavior will not be tolerated… we expect all colleagues to be kind and treat one another with respect”.
“We are actively investigating each incident and we will be taking any appropriate action,” the memo continued.
The airline claims that the negative remarks do not reflect the views of all of its staff, who are ‘impressed’ with the new uniform’s fabric quality. The expanded range of choices is likewise welcomed by the staff.
In addition to the much-discussed jumpsuit, female staff members can also wear dresses, skirts, or pants; pilots will even be permitted to wear culottes. The new three-piece suit for men will come with both conventional and slim-fit design pants.
Despite the fact that Boateng has created a new tunic and hijab option, British Airways has chosen not to accept any gender-neutral options, and it has been stated that both male and female staff members will be required to wear a uniform that “matches” their gender.
According to British Airways, Boateng designed the uniform with “painstaking attention” and involved staff in more than 50 sessions. Receiving comments on garment samples and prototypes was a part of the design process.
Engineers and luggage handlers, which are considered to be “below the wing” employees, are anticipated to begin wearing the new uniform by the spring, and customer-facing professionals including cabin crew and airport staff are anticipated to make the switch by the summer of 2023.