New DVP EKAS has announced his coming to the Airport Services Department in the hub. He has sent two e-mails where he introduced himself and promised some changes.
Mr. Walter Riggans DVP EKAS has already managed to „walk around the airport and to find out that there are some concerns about rostered overtime“. Although it is very commendable that new DVP already promises some changes, I have doubts regarding the seriousness of his intentions and I will explain why that is (and it’s not because of his shady Sri Lankan past (click the underlined word for details) as it is humane to give every man a chance to be a better person).
First of all, management keeps ignoring the fact that this blog made a huge fuss in public thanks to the mass of unsatisfied employees who shared the links and commented posts. Many journalists have contacted me. I have refused most of them, but those who got my consent for the interview (Wall Street Journal and 24/7 Emirates, for example) contacted me once or twice and then they suddenly vanished. I suppose that EK is doing some good damage control and I don’t expect anything less of them. Damage is not my goal here so I don’t insist on media involvement for now. I have never contacted any newspapers or TV station which speaks enough about my intentions.
Ignoring staff’s needs and problems is a part of the known disposable staff policy in Emirates Airline and it doesn’t inspire confidence in promised changes. Let’s not talk about the fact that management is ignoring me and obligations towards me as well. I do understand their fear that I can publish any of their e-mails sent to me in order to confirm my claims that I was bullied and fired for presenting a danger of being a leader of a potential strike. Still, they don’t need to send me an e-mail, it is enough to send me my deserved and by contract promised End of Service compensation (I have asked them to do so couple of times) since they are above the Labor Law in Dubai and they don’t pay obligatory three salaries compensation.
Mr. Walter could say that he listened the audio record of the Open Forum with ex DVP Ms. Anoma Manuel or that he has spoken to EKAS managers and that this is how he found out about the problems, but he didn’t. He claims something that can hardly be the truth. His act offends other managers as well (including Ms. Anoma Manuel). They are in EKAS for a long time and it looks like they never bothered to ask their staff how they feel about certain policies and management decisions (which can easily be the truth as well) until new DVP came.
Mr. Riggans also claims that he will try to abolish “rostered overtime”. Dear Mr. Riggans, “rostered overtime” doesn’t exist in staff’s contracts, so it can only be called as every each staff is calling it – “forced overtime”. It seems to me that problems have to be called by the true name in order to be properly addressed. Forced overtime is against every labor accomplishment of the civilization and you should stop it right now without any delay in order to save your company of the further embarrassment. If you don’t have enough staff hire new ones and make some sustainable staff policy by treating your employees like human beings and by paying them decent salaries. This way your staff won’t massively resign and you will have enough staff on the floor.
While it is very commendable that you have sent such an informative and polite letter to your employees it is also necessary for you to know that you are promising to cure the symptoms instead of a cause of the disease. Employees can’t live with 700 euros per month salary in Dubai and the overtime that you are forcing people to come to is paid miserably. Company may be losing the profit at this moment and it can be a legitimate reason to cut the costs, but if this is the case it would be recommendable to cut the huge salaries and benefits of your managers. Saving money on those who you need desperately (customer service agents, cabin crew, pilots and other hard working staff) will not make you the first airliner in the world.
Since Emirates Airline claims to earn billions of dollars it may be a good idea to try to make your staff to volunteer for overtime by paying them their overtime hours more than 25 dirhams per hour? Maybe you should consider giving them higher salaries (to EKAS ground staff especially) in order to make them feel like they are part of something rich and powerful (if we assume that EK is rich and powerful) instead of making them feel like replaceable beggars?
Really mature and great managers/companies don’t ignore present or ex employees and they do know when to apologize. They especially know how to not be selfish and greedy. It is too late for an apology, but greediness is a disease which can, luckily, be cured as long as you are addressing the disease itself instead of its symptoms.