The Republic – A Ghanaian pilot who labored in the employ of Aero Surveys Limited, operators of private local airline Starbow, has allegedly been victimized in a sack drama that appears to be tinged with racism.
Captain Eric Odartey Mills Lamptey was unceremoniously elbowed out of his job and replaced with a foreigner after three years of dedicated service that his employers themselves confess, was cornerstone to the company’s growth.
In an anticlimax that smacks of insulting ingratitude, Starbow is said to have also refused to pay Mr. Lamptey benefits due him, including even his social security, after making him break his back for the company.
The Republic has intercepted documents, including a frantic appeal to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) by the victim that indicate that the alleged ill-treatment by the operators of Starbow is having a toll on the life of their former employee.
We have also heard from Aero Surveys Limited who say a legal tango has been commenced to defend the company against what they claim to be baseless claims by the Ghanaian pilot.
On the 11th of June 2011, Aero Surveys Limited engaged the services of Mr. Eric Odartey Mills Lamptey as a captain for its flagship airline brand, Starbow.
According to the company’s own testimony, the Ghanaian captain had offered flawless and extremely dedicated service.
“We would like to state for the records that you have been a very dedicated and hardworking staff of the company. You have been the pillar of the company and were actively involved in all the major projects of the company.
“You have been a support to this company during the most difficult times. You have always showed your dedication and loyalty towards the company. The exhibition of your enthusiasm to work even beyond the stipulated working hours cannot be flouted.
“During your entire tenure, you showed your capability and knowledge which led to the continuous growth of the company,” a letter signed by Mr. James Eric Antwi, CEO of the company, testified about Capt. Mills Lamptey.
Interestingly, the poetic laudation was captured in a May 31st, 2016 letter that announced the termination of the employment of Capt. Eric Odartey Mills Lamptey with Starbow.
According to the letter, captioned, ‘Separation Agreement,’ the reason for the relieve of duty was the management’s decision to restructure the company and introduce new fleet to augment its operations.
Capt. Mills Lamptey was supposedly being let-go because he was over qualified and too richly experienced with towering seniority.
Interestingly, in spite of all the flowery claims, the company had not seen it fit to give him prior notification before the termination as the cessation of his employment with the company took effect the very day the termination letter was handed to him.
Even more bizarre, Capt. Mills Lamptey was to later find out that his job had been given to a 64-year old foreigner, who was similarly experienced like himself and was by his age, actually just a year away from attaining the mandatory retirement age in the aviation sector, 65.
Captain Mills Lamptey has since tried to move on from what is believed to be racist victimization. However, in addition to the alleged shabby treatment at the hands of the operators of Starbow, the company is said to have also refused to pay his entitlements.
According to documents gleaned by The Republic, Aero Surveys has, in contravention of the terms of his employment, refused to pay his social security and second tier pension contributions, even though the amounts were duly deducted from his salary.
The company has allegedly also failed to pay him various entitlements, including outstanding remuneration adjustments to the tune of almost $50,000.
According to information, Aero Surveys has used every means possible to deliberately frustrate Capt. Mills Lamptey from getting his entitlements paid, and has since labeled him persona non grata at the 15 Senchi Loop, Airport Residential Area head office of Starbow.
On 17th June, 2017, a security man at the gate of the head office is alleged to have nearly manhandled the Ghanaian pilot when he attempted to gain the audience of Ahmad Faroukh, the owner of Starbow, to pursue an amicable settlement.
The alleged shabby treatments are said to be in addition to the fact that a similar request by lawyers of the Captain to meet and have an amicable settlement has also been spurned by the company.
Last Friday, Mr. Ahmad Farouk, who is also Chairman of Aero Surveys, told The Republic in an interview that all the claims by the Ghanaian pilot were false.
Mr. Farouk wouldn’t tolerate any more questions after that dismissal on the phone, telling The Republic to contact the chief executive officer of the company for any other information.
Mr. James Eric Antwi, the CEO, has since not been available, however, one Mr. Sam, has since told The Republic that the company is in court with Capt. Mills Lamptey and can therefore not comment on the issue.
The Republic has however learnt that the case is not in court, but before the Labour Commission.