Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Anger at airline staff treatment

Workers have been left stranded by Flyglobespan across the world

Union officials have spoken of their anger at the treatment of staff following the collapse of airline Flyglobespan.

The Unite union condemned the "shocking" handling of workers who have been left stranded across the world.

It said it was also "horrendous" staff were being left jobless at Christmas.

The carrier's Edinburgh-based parent company, The Globespan Group, went into administration on Wednesday night with the loss of about 800 jobs.

Katrina McBride, from Dalgety Bay in Fife, told the BBC Scotland news website that she had received a "distraught" phone call from her 30-year-old daughter Melanie McBride, who was working as cabin crew for Flyglobespan based in Delhi.

She said she was absolutely gutted about what had happened and they didn't even know if the hotel they were based in had been paid for
Katrina McBride
Mother of a cabin crew member

She said: "Melanie has been out in India since October and was due to be there until January but she called last night distraught saying they had been contacted by cabin crew back home to tell them the news but their managers had told them nothing.

"There are 60 workers based out there and the captains were clubbing their credit cards together to see how many of them they could pay to get home.

"She said she was absolutely gutted about what had happened and they didn't even know if the hotel they were based in had been paid for.

"Then we received a call from her in the middle of the night to say Virgin had stepped in and said it would take them home, half today and half of them on Friday."

One senior cabin crew member for Flyglobespan told the BBC he had not yet been contacted by the company.

Tom Maguire from Prestwick added: "I'm completely devastated by this news the week before Christmas. I feel totally let down.

Crew member Tom Maguire has been given no information about the collapse

"There is nothing on the staff website, we're just hearing things through Facebook. No one has told me that I don't have a job."

Brian Boyd, Unite national officer for civil aviation, said: "The real tragedy is that, along with thousands of passengers stuck overseas, the 800 Flyglobespan employees have been thrown into a Christmas of misery with no wages and no job.

"The manner in which workers can be cast aside in the UK is shocking."

Fiona Farmer, Unite's regional officer responsible for Flyglobespan, said: "This is a bitter blow for jobs in Scotland and devastating for the employees who have lost their jobs and will not be receiving their December pay next week.

"Many crew are stranded overseas in Europe and beyond, extremely worried about how they will get home and how they will support their families without a wage at Christmas.

"This is truly horrendous for them and their loved ones, which is why we are in urgent discussion with the receivers on this issue."

Administrators, PWC, said some workers would be retained to help "wind down" the firm but many would be told of redundancies.

Bruce Cartwright, of PWC, said: "In normal circumstances we would undoubtedly talk to employees before any publicity.

"In this case, unfortunately, our appointment came after-hours.

"We haven't had a chance yet to speak to individual employees."

Print Sponsor

Airline's collapse strands 4,500
17 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Your Flyglobespan experiences
17 Dec 09 |  Scotland

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