A Qantas employee demoted for engaging in Falun Gong activities

18 Aug

Sep. 8 (Kaiwind) – Recently, the Fair Work Australia tribunal reserved the decision about Qantas employee Sheridan Genrich’s demand for reinstating.

Sheridan Genrich is a Qantas employee from New South Wales. As an international flight attendant, she had flown to China with the airline five times. She was expelled from China for engaging in Falun Gong promotional activities during a stopover in Beijing in November 2008. Chinese authorities found copies of Zhuan Falun – the Falun Gong’s Bible – and copies of the Falun Gong-published Epoch Times newspaper in her luggage.

Sheridan Genrich said she was a Falun Gong practitioner and was taking the materials to friends in China. After that, she was transferred to a lower-paying position on short-haul routes. She felt resentful and authorized legal counsel Shane Prince to file a complaint to Fair Work Australia tribunal and demanded that the airline reinstate her on international routes and compensate her for lost wages.

Qantas said it switched Sheridan Genrich to short-haul duties because its international crew must be able to travel to any country, but she isn’t fit for the job.

Qantas’ lawyer Rachel Bernasconi told Fair Work Australia tribunal that Ms Genrich had flown to China five times without incident but had brought material in her luggage that she should have known was illegal in China. She had been practicing Falun Gong since 2002 and should know these things were forbidden in China. The rule 8.3.1 of staff manual of Qantas also prohibited “conveying” newspapers while working.

Fair Work Australia Commissioner Frank Raffaelli reserved his decision on the case.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Smartraveller website warns “Falun Gong activities are banned in China”; “Falun Gong related demonstrations and activities contravene Chinese laws”; and “if you participate, you could be arrested, imprisoned and/or deported.”

text from:http://english.kaiwind.com/Reports/China/201012/t122623.htm

 

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