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Twenty Nigerian cabin crew members recently laid off by Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd, have instituted a N5 billion (Five Billion Naira) suit against the Airline before the National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos.
The Nigerian cabin crew, through their counsel, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe, SAN, are praying the court to restrain the respondents from laying them off or giving effects to the notice of termination of employment served on them pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
They also prayed the court to suspend the notice of termination of employment served on them pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit, further asking the court to direct the respondents to pay them the sum of N 5 billion as damages for the act of discrimination against them.
The 20 cabin crew, Genevieve Mordi, Umo Akinselure, Lukman Yusuf, Ekaete Victor-Iyamu, Victoria Enyi, George Ezemba, James Ajayi, Rosemary Ogbor, Babajide Akinyele, Remilekun Lashebikan, Yewande Salau, David Dagat, Babafemi Oshifeko, Babatunde Olamuye, Juliet Ezumba, Rachel Ideho, Ademola Olowolade, Imelda Blankson, Halimat Odeyemi and Tolumilade Sogbesan, are contending that they were all laid off on November 30, 2015, following an internal memo issued by the Executive Vice President, Customer, of the Airline, Jill Brady.
In the memo, it was disclosed that the provision of cultural expertise which was the primary purpose of employing the claimants was no longer required by the Airline on its Lagos-London route.
In a 36 paragraph affidavit in support of the suit, deposed to by one of the plaintiffs, Umo Akinselure, they averred that the claimants were never informed by any of the respondents that the sole reason for their employment was to provide cultural expertise in respect of the Airline’s flight operations on the Lagos-London route.