After the open forum for EKAS staff on 21st of July, I’ve sent two e-mails to EKAS managers. First one was a simple question if we are going to get a written feedback from our open forums. It is only civilized to get some outcomes about solutions for employees’s problems (let me remind you that employees’s problems are actually employer’s problems, which is something that EKAS and HR managers do not understand since they behaved like they are doing us a favour with the open forums). After this, on the next morning, I’ve got an invitation for a disciplinary meeting. This invitation came on my private mobile phone number and e-mail address and it came 18 hours before the time meeting was scheduled.
Internal Employee Manual says that I have to be notified 24 hours in advance about any disciplinary meeting. I have complained on this and got the answer from HR management that Manual was not violated.
This is the problem when company is not subject of any Federal Law that can control it. Managers can harass you and behave like supreme gods over your destiny because they are the ones making the rules and they have the ultimate right to violate them. Employees (especially foreign ones) have no protection whatsoever and they are in the mercy of the same managers that harass them.
After my disciplinary hearing invite, I have sent another e-mail to all managers asking for His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed AlMaktoum to be my witness at the meeting. I was suspended next day and I was notified about suspension via sms on my private mobile phone and my private e-mail address. His Highness was refused as my witness since “he is not an employee of Emirates”.
Moreover, my disciplinary meeting was to be held by two managers who were participating the forum! It took me a whole day to convince one of those managers – Amanda Maxwell (HR Manager) that I have the right on objective managers that had nothing to do with the forum. Managers, obviously, found nothing wrong in the fact that I will be judged by the same people who found my behaviour at the forum inappropriate. The prosecutor is accusing you and the same prosecutor is judging you.
After a long correspondence with Ms Amanda, I finally got at least one independent manager to be at my hearing (Ms Maria Escobar, HR manager from Dnata). Second manager at disciplinary hearing was at the forum and he played the crucial role after the disciplinary meeting – Mr Rami El Samra, manager concourse.
All the meetings in Emirates Airline are held like police interrogation. You have to come to the meeting when they tell you to come (even if it’s your day off) and you are interrogated in an hostile and unpleasant way. Ms Maria Escobar, “experienced HR manager” as she said, made me feel like I am a criminal, asking questions about my behaviour at the open forum in aggressive and hostile way (I had a witness for that). When everything was finished Ms Maria left and Mr Rami told me that he is “willing to accept me at the gates if everything goes fine after the meeting”.
Since it was Eid (public holiday in UAE), and managers went to their vacations, I was suspended for two weeks after the disciplinary meeting, waiting for managers to come back from their vacations and to make a decision about my employment.
After two weeks I was called to line manager’s office and presented with a termination letter. Termination letter for inappropriate behaviour at the open forum was signed by manager who was present at the same Forum (and therefore subjective) and with whom I have never worked before – Mr Rami El Samra. He manifested a big change from his “if everything goes well, you will work with me at the gates” to “here is your termination with my signature on it” stand. It’s like managers do not have any control over their decisions at all. Mr Rami was not even present when I was given the termination letter. I was not given any notice period or briefed about what shall I do next or whether I am going to get my salary.
Moreover, when I wanted to check my HR Direct on my last day of work, I was brutally kicked out from the admin room and my HR profile was immediately shut down. Let me remind you that every employee has the right to follow his termination process via HR direct. I was even denied to do that.
The rest of the story is history. I have appealed to Mr Mohammad Mattar (DSVP) and Ms Michelle Carswell (HR manager). They listened to me (with a slight dosage of defending the managers and the company) and my termination decision was confirmed.
I have been notified that I have to leave the accommodation until 9th of September and to bring my passport for visa cancellation until 10th of September. So, I supposed to be on a street for couple of days until my visa is cancelled.
This is the moment when I have opened this blog and started writing about injustice and manager’s incapability to do their jobs.
One day before I left the country I have received a phone call from my Embassy. They told me that “someone from Emirates Airline” called to notify them that I can end up in prison for writing “things against Sheikh on Facebook” (which is not true).
Next day I left the country without visa cancellation. It would be madness to give my passport to someone who is threatening me with a prison. I have notified the company about this fact and about the fact that I am expecting apology. Until today’s day I haven’t got any reply from them. I left my notice period salary and end of service compensation with them.
I liked the UAE, actually, and I liked local people. This is why I can not understand why people have to escape that country for things they did not do? Why that country is hostile towards people who have different opinion? Why they opened themselves for the whole world, expecting respect for their way of thinking and culture, when they do not bother to understand others?
Never in my life I would expect that I will have to escape from my employer for manifesting my freedom of speech.
The day that money took the power over people is the day when everything started to fall apart.