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Tag Archives: Facebook

“UAE expat faces trial over Facebook post criticising employer”

One of the rules of this blog, besides the rule to never mention other airlines in my articles in a negative context, is not to mention other events in UAE as well. This time I am making (hopefully) the only exception. The reason for doing this lies in the fact that I could be in the same position as this American citizen is if I stayed in Dubai and submitted my passport to Emirates Airline managers for visa cancellation, as I was threatened with prison as well. EK managers actually called my embassy to tell them that I can “end up in prison for writing things against Sheik on Facebook”. This claim was not true for couple of reasons. First of all I didn’t write against Sheik, I complained to him. Second of all I wrote a blog not a Facebook post.

Writings “against the employer” can be a reason for firing a person, but they can never be a reason to arrest someone and keep them in prison. At least not where people who are used to freedom of speech and freedom of criticizing are coming from. Most of the managers in UAE know this as they are coming from the same places.

Let me be clear about this: In this occasion I support writings against an unfair and abusive employers and mobbing. If someone offends you in your house, throw them out, don’t imprison them in your house and then judge them by your own standards.

In support to the freedom of speech and criticizing and in hope that this American citizen will be treated fairly and released from prison, I am re-publishing the article from Arabian Business website:

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An American citizen arrested in Abu Dhabi after he posted a Facebook post criticising his employers and made derogatory comment toward Arabs has been freed on bail pending a trial on March 17.

Ryan Pate, a civilian helicopter mechanic, returned to the UAE last month and received a call from Abu Dhabi Police to come to the station.

On arrival, police informed Pate that he was accused of violated the country’s cyber laws for slandering his employer, who had brought the charges against him.

Now free on bail, the Florida native faces a fine of up to $50,000 and five years in jail.

 

US Representative David Jolly wrote to US Secretary of State John Kerry calling and UAE Attorney General, Ali Mohammed Abdullah Al Bloushi appealing for Pate’s release.

Jolly, in his letter to the UAE Attorney General, said Pate was arrested and charged for the Facebook message that he posted while on US soil.

“I fully understand the law of the UAE regarding social media and respect the sovereignty of your kingdom to defend and uphold its laws,” Jolly wrote in his letter.

“However, the Facebook messages that were posted by Mr Pate were written while he was residing within the United States. Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Mr Pate is protected under US law to freely express his opinion regardless of the content. As such it is deeply troubling that Mr Pate now faces judicial proceedings over an action that was done legally in his home country,” he added.

The charges of cyber slander against Islam and cyber slander against the UAE, have been dropped, according to reports, but Pate still faces charges of cyber slander against his employer and cyber slander against management.

Pate’s case will heard on March 17 in Abu Dhabi.

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News from Emirates Illuminati website #2

Social Media Registration & Login Now Active!

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POSTED BY / ILLUMINATI NEWS

We are pleased to announce that you can now create an account and log in using your Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts. There is still the option to create an account by the more traditional manual registration.

Creating an account will allow you to post in our Forums, 2 of which are viewable by any visitor to the site, along with a 3rd private forum for members only.

Commenting on our blog articles is handled by the Disqus commenting platform, which also allows the use of social media to create an account or, if you wish, you can comment anonymously.

We look forward to your participation on the website and hope to create a lively community with a lively debate!

Be seeing you…

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Message from cabin crew to Terry Daly DSVP Service Delivery

For many years now employees of Emirates Airline are witnesses of deterioration of working conditions and violations of their contracts. Seems that pressure is so huge lately that employees have no other way to cope with incapable and careless managers but to establish secret societies (Emirates Illuminati) or to mock them on social networks and blogs. Emirates Illuminati website is blocked in UAE and one of the EK cabin crew’s Facebook page was shut down recently under the pressure of Human Resources managers. So much about freedom of speech – only managers are allowed to have it in Emirates Airline.

I will repeat – just about anyone can lead the company like this: not concerned for company’s future and people, not concerned about human and labour rights violations, but very concerned about bonuses and huge salaries that they get for making short-sighted and irrational decisions to make money on the expense of physical and mental health of their staff.

The newest ludicrous decision of powerless managers was to cancel self certification of sickness for members of cabin crew. This was management’s response to cabin crew’s chronic exhaustion due to long working hours and huge staff turnover rate. Shortage of staff is making headaches in Emirates Head Quarters as planes are grounded due to lack of staff.

In EK Airport Services, staff never had an option to self certificate. On the days they are sick, they have to go to any private clinic and pay for their certificate (around 100 AED). So, they are sick, but they still have to get up and go to the clinic, otherwise if they don’t bring medical certificate dated on the day they called sick, they will be marked absent. And they don’t have a clinic, they have to pay for their certification from their 3500 AED salary. This just proves how EK ground staff is discriminated and humiliated. 

Absurd management's decision.

Absurd management’s decision.

Cabin crew asked me to publish their response to Terry Daly Divisional Vice President Service Delivery’s e-mail which notifies crew on this new policy. They replied (in cursive) on every paragraph of Mr.Terry Daly’s e-mail (marked in red letters).

Screenshots are from social networks where employees talk about management’s unqualified and unfit decisions.

Cabin crew's response to Mr.Terry Daly's e-mail, attached in Word document "Motivation gone"

Cabin crew’s response to Mr.Terry Daly’s e-mail, attached in Word document “Motivation gone”

“Dear all,

There are some important changes happening in sick reporting and certification. I thought I should write to you and let you know.

What are the changes?
From 07:00 on 20 January 2015, cabin crew who are sick and unable to come to work will no longer be able to self-certify. You will need to visit a nurse at EGHQ to obtain a sick certificate. The nurses will be in a dedicated area on the ground floor called the Certificate Unit (CU) and they will be available 24/7.” 

Translation: from now on, we are not just abusing the cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and cleaners but also nurses with forced night shifts and work overload. Oh, and if I’m too sick to work, I’m also too sick to come out to public, to wait in a queue and to receive a certificate that I truly don’t care so much about.

“What will happen when you call sick?
When you call the Attendance Management Unit (AMU) they will arrange for you to visit a nurse at the Certificate Unit as soon as possible. The nurse will assess you and issue you with a sick certificate as appropriate.  This may be for either one, two or three days depending on the nature of your illness”

Translation:  take a 20minute bus ride to HQ with 39C fever, diarrhoea or a virus, infect everyone on the bus and in the headquarters, so that tomorrow 20 more people could call in sick.

“If you have recovered when the sick certificate expires you should simply report for your next duty.
If you continue to be unwell you should make an appointment at the EK Clinic for medical advice and support.”

Terry, have you been in the EK Clinic lately? Everyone knows you need to take a pillow and a blanket with you because it will be a 6 hour camp waiting in a queue. And I’m not even joking. Getting an appointment takes around a week
“If you feel better before your sick certificate expires (if it was issued for 2 – 3 days) simply contact the AMU and they will amend your roster. 

Why are we doing this?
This change will mean we can track sickness more accurately. Seeing a nurse means that if serious problems are indicated we can schedule you to see another medical professional more quickly.”

Who are you kidding, Terry?
“For those who are concerned about making sure that their sickness is documented, it will mean that this is done straight away.”

Who was ever been concerned?
“We do of course also hope that it will result in a reduction in crew reporting sick when they are actually able to come to work.” 

Finally, some truth, Terry 

“Does this replace the Walk-in Clinic?
The Certificate Unit is not a walk-in clinic. The team of nurses there will not be able to see anyone who has not called sick through the AMU. They will be able to provide advice on the majority of ailments, however are not set up to deliver treatment. Similarly, they cannot provide follow-up medical advice/support. For this, use the EK Clinic as you do today.”

Translation: you take a 20 minute bus ride where you infect everyone, just the nurse confirm your diarrhoea, without giving any medications.  And how again should I ever get better if I have to drive between HQ and home after every two days?

“I understand that this is a major change to our sickness reporting procedures. It will likely take some time to settle down and I thank you for your understanding in the meantime. There are FAQs on the Cabin Crew Portal

There is also a place for you to post any questions.

Best wishes,

Terry

DSVP Service Delivery”

 

Management's ridiculous reactions to serious shortage of staff.

Management’s ridiculous reactions to serious shortage of staff.

Here are some responses that I got today from colleagues after they read the email. It will all speak for itself and project peoples’ misery, demotivation and pure helplessness:

  • * They are short of crew and this is what we get? They should stop buying aircrafts and start buying robots…

  • * This is the end

  • *Wonder how many people are going to call sick on 19th just to mark the end of an era!!!!!

  • * If u have diarrhea u get a warning

  • *They will give u panadol and send u to work anyway

  • *Pathetic, we’re being treated like little children in school…. No wonder everyone is leaving

  • *As if it isn’t difficult enough getting an appointment… now add diarrhea, headache, period pains, etc etc patients… Poor nurses will be overworked!

  • *Working in a company where bad ideas and inefficient policies are circulated on a daily basis, you’d think another new utterly sh*t sanction wouldn’t shock…

  • *Well there’s a way to get another few thousand to resign 

  • *Oh and What if i am suffering from fatigue !!! Do i have to wear my skirt as a top and the blouse as my bottom is to prove it !!!

  • *And there was me thinking Fascism was defeated…

 

Humorous answer of cabin crew to new sickness policy.

Humorous answer of cabin crew to new sickness policy.

Some time ago, the management launched the multi-sectors for the poor A330 crew (they now do sectors DXB-DOH-DXB-DOH-DXB, or DXB-DOH-DXB-KWI-DXB), where the crew spends around 12-13 hours at work, gives out four times towels, menus, toys AND full services and gets paid for the time spent in the air, which is around 4 hours.  This illustrates very well the fact that the shortage of crew is present.  The predictions based on common sense say, that even the last A330/A340 flight attendants are now going to resign.

I recently flew with a colleague who said, on his graduation day (completion of 6 moths in EK), there was 14 people less than initially in the training!!!!

Around four months ago a Facebook group called EK off topic was shut down by HR and a new group highly monitored by HR representative was established. This irritated huge amount on people who felt, their freedom of speech has been limited. And they resigned.

Today we get surprised with new sickness rules. If Emirates is so short of crew (yes, every week around 180 people resigning), then why on earth are the remaining people treated so horribly?  Maybe it’s a tactical move to get everyone on final warning at some point, so that manipulating and sanctioning will be easier for the management?

There are many “old” crew in the company, who remember the “golden times” with laid back briefings, excellent staff travels, lots of free time and salary that made you feel upper middle class in Dubai. What we see today are briefings where instead of motivation we are getting a moral (a whole 15 minutes of “Don’t do..” , “The customer is paying so much…”, “Be there..” “Say that..”, “Do that…”, “You are here to deliver the service..”, “ Customers are paying our salary..”, ”If you’re not doing (fill in the blank), it’s going to marked 1 on your flight review” etc etc etc), staff travel, where we get kicked off from the plane with confirmed tickets and salaries with all sorts of random deductions and missing allowances.  It’s turning into a horrible company to work for!

Black humour of EK cabin crew.

Black humour of EK cabin crew.

If I were an Emirates Airline manager I would be seriously ashamed after reading this. At least.

 

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Do employees who post comments on my blog get fired?

Fear of posting comments on this blog became very present in Emirates Airline. This is what I have heard. People are afraid that their e-mails and phones are tracked down. There is even a story that couple of employees are fired for posting a comment or a story here, or to be precise: for “publishing articles against UAE”.

While I find this story funny, I admit that there is a possibility that staff is bullied for posting here, since MAS Samir Al Tamer told me on one of our meetings that “staff is fired for posting something about the company on Twitter” and one staff complained to me that they got a final warning for posting something involving Emirates on their (locked for public) Facebook wall. I was constantly warned that I am “monitored” by my managers, so these kinds of threats are nothing new in EK.

Some of these fear stories are probably spread on purposely, to prevent many people from posting here; but I am pretty sure that most of these stories are invented by some staffs themselves because this is how fear works: you know that your fear strategy is successful when people start to scare themselves with the stories they invent without anyone’s help. So, EK has an outstanding fear strategy.

Let me repeat: I find it unfair and false to accuse me or anyone else of writing “against UAE or His Highness Sheikh Ahmed” on this blog. Only malicious people can mix a serious critique of a company’s management with a critique of a country. I have even expressed my respect for His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, UAE and its people many times. So, there can be no words of doing anything against the UAE.

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Thousands of people read this blog on a daily basis and I know that blog is popular, but since its initial post which had 271 comments, not many people are commenting now. I can understand why. But it seems that my invitation raised some dust inside the company.

This is the deal: nobody can change your lives instead of you. Nobody can expect to seat passively and to wait someone else to change things for them. I have provided the space for your voice to be heard, where I don’t publish rumours, just received e-mails and testimonies. If you are afraid of being tracked down there are many ways you can hide you IP address and be anonymous on the Internet (google it). And if you are afraid to send an e-mail or a comment from UAE, send it from another country. Many of you travel often. And if you are just afraid and don’t want to do anything – don’t. But remember, fear is the worst disease of the human race. It stops every evolution of mind and spirit; then again – it is totally irrational and it doesn’t present a real threat. I was ready to lose my job so that nobody else has to.

EK managers will eventually understand that rule of fear is impossible in today’s world, because it can easily fall apart with just one person who doesn’t feel scared. And if they really want to change something and to continue like a modern, powerful and civilized company, they will encourage their staff to speak freely and appreciate creative thinkers and bravery. If they want to be in the middle ages, where they are heading now, they will maintain the rule of fear until the next person’s blog.

And I am not convinced that anything will change until some civilized moves, like apologies, are made.

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If you are fired for posting on this blog, please let me know on dragana.blog.ek(at)gmail.com. 


Where is HH Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum?

His Highness’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts have disappeared from social networks. At least they are not there under his name which he has used before – Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

When I first started this fight against injustice in Emirates Airline I went to the Chairman’s office couple of times, I sent HH Ahmed an e-mail, my embassy sent him an e-mail and I sent him messages on Facebook and Twitter (he was very active on those two accounts under his real and full name). I never got any response from him.

Maybe I am making a mistake or HH has blocked my accounts and that is why I can’t find him on any of his public profiles on social networks. Maybe His Highness just doesn’t want to answer the Open letter and many other questions about working conditions in his company shared by many people on Facebook and Twitter, so he has decided to vanish from the Internet and public eye.

If this is true, it’s a real shame since I did have a hope in his fair reaction in this matter.

I also hope that HH is well and that his health condition is not the reason of his disappearance.

Open letter

Open letter to HH the Chairman of Emirates Airline is shared on Twitter many times.

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Open letter to HH the Chairman of Emirates Airline is shared many times on Facebook as well.