Monday, August 16, 2010

Turkish carpeting: When Your Looks Pay Off

How do you recruit young and attractive employees without getting into litigation complexities related to age and looks discrimination? Face control is not something easy to implement, particularly in the more developed parts of the world. Apparently, in Turkey they have few issues with that as we can see from the article below.

OK, maybe you can get past the recruitment stage. What happens if you take on a couple of kilos? Now you are unfit to work? Another interesting case - all of a sudden, you are 30!!! Start dusting off your CV, as nobody likes being served chicken or beef by an old person.

So far, I believe it is mainly the States who have implemented strict legislative requirements re: discrimination in the workplace. Hence, we get characters like Valerie (Pam Ann show), and American Airlines get renowned for their aging crew :)

Turkish carpeting
Aug 13th 2010, 17:41 by T.P. | LONDON

IS IT any wonder that flight attendants are deploying the emergency-evacuation chute and heading for the hills? With competition in the aviation sector so intense, airlines feel under pressure to promote as glossy an image as possible. The latest carrier to take action is Turkish Airlines, where, according to the management, passenger numbers aren’t the only things growing. Waistlines have also come under scrutiny, and 28 flight attendants have been told to lose weight or lose their jobs.

Turkish Airlines has explained that the height and weight of its attendants are "important both in terms of appearance and the ability to move about" and that all the employees involved had previously been warned about their weight. They have now been placed on six months' unpaid leave. If they don't slim down they will be reassigned to other duties.

As Gulliver has previously noted, many carriers do not embroil themselves in the issue of their attendants’ weight, asking only that they meet the mobility requirements to fulfil their roles safely. To place a heavy emphasis on appearance seems a throwback—today’s commercial pilots are no longer feted as heroes, you are not allowed to smoke and you definitely can’t visit the cockpit. Yet the image of the “trolley dolly” lingers on. It's as if Lee Kuan Yew’s opinion that the "Singapore Girl" (the name-cum-slogan of Singapore Airlines' flight attendants) needed "to stay on the right side of the thirties" in order "to remain attractive" has been taken as an immutable truth.

The issue of airlines reassigning or firing attendants over the approved weight is no longer an unexpected story—even if Turkish Airlines lists appearance ahead of mobility when explaining the significance of its cabin crews' weight. However, an interesting twist to this case is that, in contrast to the ten attendants sacked by Air India in 2009, 15 of the Turkish carrier's crew members are men. Will some of the sympathy shown to the Air India crew also be afforded to Izzet Levi, who weighs in at a burly 106kg (233lbs), and his colleagues?

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