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Emirates Airline a ‘golden cage’ that reinforces ‘culture of fear’ – whistleblower website

 

RT Video News

Employees of Emirates Airline refer to the company as a “golden cage,” which allegedly exhausts crews beyond their limits and employs punishments when complaints are filed, the administrator of a dedicated whistleblower site has told RT.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the administrator of donotflyemirates.wordpress.com, which collects the accounts of Emirates Airline pilots and publishes their stories online, stressed that the company creates “a culture of fear,” where workers feel unprotected, targeted and trapped.

The site administrator noted that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) does not allow unions, which leaves staff even more vulnerable to abuse.

“If you make a mistake – or even if you don’t make a mistake, if someone blames you for something – you don’t get the chance to defend yourself. You just get the warning, they just fire you.”

“After some time spent in Dubai you feel like everything you have, your whole life is in danger. Because if you get fired, you’re going to lose your house, you’re going to lose your whole life. This is why they are referring to it as a ‘golden cage.’”

The whistleblower site is already banned in the UAE, but the airline wanted to silence it further, as Emirates Airline lawyers reached out to WordPress and urged the blogging platform to take down the whistleblower site, which it refused to do.

“I received a notification from WordPress platform, they notified me that Emirates lawyers tried to take down some content from my blog, and WordPress refused them.”

The administrator, who is a former employee of Emirates Airline, told RT that all the pilots’ stories are received via email. They are all verified before they are published.

The site coordinator also received warning letters while still employed by the airline for having a “negative influence on others” when discussing shifts and workloads.

Earlier, RT spoke to current as well as former Emirates pilots, who confirmed that the company forces them to take heavy workloads and implements “bullying” techniques.

An ex-Emirates employee described the company’s rosters as “brutal,” as the pilots are “expected to switch from day to night… duties without enough rest in between,” adding that he “loses several nights of sleep every month,” is “constantly tired,” and has “no energy to do anything.”

Making matters worse is the fact that the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), charged with regulating aviation safety, has failed to act. Speaking to RT on condition of anonymity, a former Emirates pilot said that the Dubai-based aviation watchdog is not independent from the state, and thus cannot adequately fulfill its duties.

The problem is further exacerbated as the GCAA is controlled by the same people in charge of the airline. Another pilot employed by Emirates revealed that the GCAA is chaired by the CEO of Emirates Airline & Group – Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

The airline itself has refused to acknowledge the problem of pilot fatigue when contacted by RT.

 

The latest response from an Emirates spokesperson claimed that the company meets the required standards.

“Emirates operates in a safe, highly regulated environment and our safety record, which ranks among the top in the industry, demonstrates our rigorous standards. Our crew rosters are built based on GCAA rules, which are in line with recognized international organization standards. Emirates has a Pilot Fatigue Risk Management system that continuously examines flight crew roster patterns and reviews any feedback received from our pilots. Therefore, we cannot substantiate any of the anonymous allegations that have been reported by Russia Today.”

“Emirates actively encourages staff to report on all aspects of safety so that proper analysis and investigations can be conducted. All staff are provided with a direct, easy link with management to report and provide feedback, regardless of its nature.”

However, the Emirates pilot that most recently spoke with RT disagrees, arguing that even though the airline has a Pilot Fatigue Risk Management system, it rarely does anything to address the problem. Instead, it pursues tactics of pilot intimidation to discourage further complaints.

“We file ASRs [Aviation Safety Reports], we highlight problems, and [for that] we can get called by the management, brought into the office… They highlighted a problem, they [could have] made a mistake, whether due to tiredness or just an error…and for that they simply give you a warning letter, this is happening all the time. And what happens is, people are becoming afraid to write ASRs to highlight issues, and it gets hidden,” the pilot said.

The problem is that while exhausting rosters are not illegal, they are “immoral” and “not consistent with sleep patterns,” added the pilot. “When you are flying more than 100 hours a month these issues are cumulative, and they build up. You just start to feel worse and worse and worse… But the airline will tell you ‘our rosters are legal.’ Yes, they are legal rosters. They do have some illegal rostering practices – but they won’t admit to that.”

When describing his personal experience of fatigue during flights, the pilot said that he and his co-pilot had both fallen asleep when approaching the ground, “the time when you need to be most alert.”

Aside from the issue of pilot fatigue, Emirates Airline tries to appear more professional by reusing old employee numbers on new staff, thus making it seem that they have a well-experienced team in charge of the flights, one cabin crew member told RT.

However, the reality is that the majority of new staff are resigning within six months. Newcomers cannot cope with the workload and fatigue.”

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/338442-emirates-airline-whistleblower-site/

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20 responses to “Emirates Airline a ‘golden cage’ that reinforces ‘culture of fear’ – whistleblower website

  • Kudos

    Congratulations on your interview with RT. Not sure if you did any in the past with a news channel. I have to appreciate wordpress for standing by your blog. Emirates must have used all its legal muscle to shutdown your blog. For them free speech means minions repeating their scripts. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D.

      Journalists wanted me to give them an interview before, but I have been avoiding them up until now… WordPress turned out to have real integrity so far.

      Like

    • Anonymous

      I hope Emirates’ SVP of Legal Rik Ward gets his moment of fame here. If and when he looks for another job, Google will bring this up. He subcontracted the dirty deed to threaten WordPress to close this blog to Sweety Chauhan. A big shout out for two of EK’S finest legal bullies. It also demonstrates their depth of legal knowledge and brings even more attention to the deceit and lies that are the standard operating practices of EK.

      Like

  • Anonymous

    EK and it’s nastiness continue to make headlines. It will continue. Until the vile and vicious management are sacked. That day will come. Be assured the FAA and EASA are watching. As are a host of lawyers….

    Like

  • The Crow

    I also contributed to this report! And would do it all over again! Shame on those European manager mistreating people, they forget where they came from…

    Liked by 1 person

    • D.

      They didn’t forget where they are coming from, they just showed their true faces in lawless conditions.

      Like

      • anonymous

        I have to disagree with the comment above Dragana’s, they are not only European. Mrs Manuel does not seem European to me. I don’t want to sound rude, but India is not in Europe, and last time I checked she looks Indian. But just like any other nationality, you have good people, you have OK people, and you have not so nice people. It has nothign to do with being European, American, Indian, Asiatic or Australian.

        Like

      • TarletonRaiders

        Dragana, majority of these bad actors appear to be from two sources. One tiny island nation (not UAE) and one tiny southern Indian state. It is interesting they quickly blame lawlessness of UAE is the reason. These people have history of committing atrocities throughout the world for centuries. Old habits die hard. I still cannot comprehend how they picked up and trained these Indians puppets.

        Like

        • anonymous

          You are being utterly racist. I am not going to say my nationality, but my country/nation is supposedly one of the ‘founders’ of slavery, and one of the countries that killed more people while conquering (aka destroying) other countries. And mind me, I am not Indian. This has nothing, but nothing to do with being Indian. This has NOTHING TO DO with being this or that nationality. I know many people that are x nationality that are amazing people, and know people of that same nationality that are stupidly mean, rude and all of that together and more. So, stop being so empty minded. Bet you would vote for Trump if you were American (maybe you are, I don’t know). Stop being close-minded, it only ends up creating wars.

          Like

          • Anonymous

            Lots of wonderful Brits and Indians as people. The vast majority of EK senior managers and Brits. The are virtually all idiots and racists. Lots of Indians who are a credit to their country. Loads of sell outs in management that make their country mens’ lives a total misery. I’m a British. The ones in ek management stink.

            Liked by 1 person

          • TarletonRaiders

            Let me make it very clear, just because UK is a western country, atrocities by KBEs won’t get a pass.

            Just because India is a peaceful nation doesn’t mean NRK (Non-Resident Keralites) Supervisors(not workers) can commit atrocities on behalf of KBE’s.

            If both groups thinks no one noticing this they are way over their heads.

            If His Excellency want to save this company, he should fire and deport UK top/middle management and NRK middle level supervisors. Rest of the staff can run this company in a civil manner.

            It will stabilize and recover rather quickly and prosper for decades to come.

            I am not mincing words, I am trying to be blunt.

            Like

          • Anonymous

            His Excellency is not doing anything…and his airline is getting into trouble by bringing in western management to run it. Tell His Excellency to read this blog, if only he wants to save the airline and bad repute it has among employees across the world. If His Excellency had taken corrective measure, this airline would not have reached such a horrbile state, He is more interested in building brand Dubai not in taking corrective measures to clean the mess inside Emirates.

            Like

  • Anonymous

    If they want to save their business, they will first save their people. Its better to save the people than keep nasty top management and managers..who screw up everything. But the fact is Drag that they do not want to see that saving the business means saving their name, their people, their brand…whatever it could be, they do not see it. If they had seen it by now, Drag your blog would have super HIT! which turned into positive stories of a turnaround in Emirates. If only they see this blog as an instrument for change, then everything will be for the good of Emirates. They do not want feedback, especially negative feedback its a taboo! Negative feedback means they have crossed the red mark, and its time to act to change things into a positive feedback. I only hope the company will turnaround, first kick out the top management ( dirty rascals), just give them…… The Boot! that is the start of sure step to change. Drag! hope that happens and one of the instruments for the change should be this Blog. I remember a change management forum initiated in one of the companies …Boy! that was a real forum where the whole management met once a quarter in a open forum and debated real issues on the floor including people issues, anyone could stand up and ask any question in front of managers or top officials and staff had seen the results of change……Doing something like this is not too difficult for Emirates…. So negative feedback taken seriously acted upon can bring in change and results…hope you guys at Emirates and all subsidiary companies will see this blog as medium of change, not get intimidated and ask for the blog to be shut down. It is like asking for the rope to suicide by not listening to feedback like in this blog. After all whether current or former staff we have all be one day there in Emirates as staff, and these experiences are real which cannot be hidden under the rugs! How long will everything be hidden? One day it will blow up, and crumble.

    Like

    • D.

      People are afraid of negative but constructive criticism. Sometimes they don’t want to admit mistakes and responsibilities, sometimes they don’t care. The truth is that it is the only kind of criticism which moves things forward. There is one more thing: I think that important news regarding EK’s internal matters do not reach its owners. And even if they do, they’re sugarcoated and filtered. It will take a lot of time until owners figure out that this blog is their and nobody else’s merit and deed.

      Like

  • Anonymous

    UAE Nationals are “never” wrong. They will go to the grave before admitting any wrong doing. They sadly will be dismiss of this company.

    Like

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to share you labor events in twitter:#eklabors

    Like

  • Anonymous

    For all those who were unjustly terminated at EK and group companies ( guess it is the culture across the group) please know that if you join another firm anywhere and there is a reference check done, by the new firm, EK Managers is screwing in up. Most likely your manager will screw it up give a bad negative response and make sure you do not get the job. So watch out for the reference you give to your next employer. The managers are revengeful and will do anything to screw up your next job. So the horrible experience of EK does not end with leaving the company. Watch out on your reference!

    Like

    • D.

      Well, that is why this blog is made for – to give a bad reference to EK managers and explain to new employers who are EK managers exactly.

      Like

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