Global union the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and German union ver.di have condemned the victimisation of a Stuttgart Airport worker caught up in a row created by TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
The check in agent, Manuel Pereira, is a member of ver.di, whose air transport national officer, Katharina Wesenick, explained: “Since Jeremy Clarkson made his extraordinary allegations Manuel Pereira has been constantly harassed by the press. He is being photographed and hounded at work. Mr Pereira does not have a TV series to promote; he just wants to get on with his job quietly and efficiently – as he was doing when he had to inform Mr Clarkson that he was too late to catch his flight.
“On behalf of Mr Pereira, we would ask the press to act responsibly and cease this unjust harassment. The airport has investigated and established that this was a clear cut case of an airport worker having to refuse boarding to passengers who had arrived late from the lounge, where they had missed the urgent reminders. If the press have any questions I suggest they put them to Jeremy Clarkson.”
ITF president Paddy Crumlin stated: “Around the world aviation workers are labouring to get aircraft in the air and passengers where they want to be, safely and punctually. That sometimes means turning away someone who has, due to their own actions, arrived too late. That is what Manuel Pereira did. Both the airport and the local police have confirmed this. In response Jeremy Clarkson unleashed a torrent of unbelievable abuse and now disproven allegations. We now learn that Mr Pereira, the innocent party in this rather sordid little affair, is being constantly hounded by some journalists. That has to stop now.”
The ITF represents 683,799 aviation workers in 246 unions in 111 countries.