Father of airline worker ‘killed by toxic air’ to meet international cabin crew

March 7, 2017

The father of a cabin crew worker who died, his family believes, from an illness caused by breathing in toxic air on aeroplanes is to meet cabin crew from more than 40 different countries in London.

Matt Bass died in 2014 after returning from a flight to Ghana. A special postmortem paid for by his family found evidence of chronic exposure to poisonous organophosphates.

His father, Charlie Bass, will speak at the International Transport Workers’ Federation cabin crew meeting, 8 March 2017, which is being held ahead of the full ITF civil aviation conference, 9-10 March.

Charlie Bass said: ““I want to come and meet the cabin crew workers so that together we can all build pressure on the industry and government to do more about the scandal of toxic cabin air. The ITF and its unions have been brilliant in our campaign; they recognise the seriousness of the issue and are raising it at the highest political levels. Together we can make sure no one else dies like Matt did.”

The ITF’s civil aviation conference involves over 100 representatives from around 80 unions covering more than 50 countries.

Activists will set out their plans for the future of the industry. They will address the most pressing issues for workers in the industry, including: cabin air quality; organising workers in airlines; tackling violence against women; flags of convenience in aviation; the ITF airports campaign and the future of work in civil aviation.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “The campaign around cabin air quality is an example of what ITF unions do best – fearlessly exposing issues when the industry falters. The union movement has always led the way in improving safety and well-being for workers, and passengers alike – and long may this continue.”

ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said the conference will set the agenda for the industry: “Civil aviation’s high standards of safety, service and working conditions have never been under greater threat from efforts to liberalise the industry. Workers and passengers can rest assured that ITF unions will meet these threats head-on and make sure the industry puts people before profits.”

Oliver Richardson is the chair of the civil aviation section: “Civil aviation is undergoing rapid change – like many other transport industries – and ITF unions must be ready for this, they must future proof themselves. The work at this conference will help to do that.”

You can follow reports, pictures, interviews and video from the event by searching for #WeAreITF on social media.

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