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Tag Archives: Ground staff

HR manager in charge for intimidating and firing staff in EKAS

In another, shorter, news for today, I finally found the full name of a mysterious “Karen“. The EK Human Resources manager in charge for scaring, intimidating and firing staff in EK Airport Services (ground staff). I guess Emirates has a lot of managers like Karen is, but I don’t know them.

I do know Karen, though. I have met her three times. The first time was when I had my disciplinary meeting. She was in the room with Rami El Samra (my disciplinary meeting manager) when I knocked. They told me to wait a little bit. Karen exited the room and went and Rami El Samra called me to come in for my disciplinary meeting. I never found out about their discussion before I came in, but I find it suspicious and unfair. 

Second time I met Karen it was at the airport hallway, the day I was supposed to be fired. She was walking towards offices with HR manager Maktoom Mohd. Hassan. Mr. Maktoom greeted me, Ms. Karen ignored me.

Third time I met Ms. Karen was at the same day at my line manager’s office (Gavin Elliot-Wilson). I greeted Mr. Gavin with a hand shake, and I greeted Ms. Karen as well, but she was a little bit surprised that I wanted to greet her, so she got confused with her hands and papers. This meeting was the moment when I found out that the person who talked to my manager before the disciplinary meeting was the very same person who fired me – HR manager Karen Galer. The judge, the jury and the executioner.

Ms. Karen was sitting in the office silently, while Mr. Gavin told me that my service is ended. I asked Ms. Karen where I can read about my rights and obligations after service termination, and she got confused, obviously not ready for the questions or knowing about the basics of the service termination in Emirates. She directed me to the End of Service counter in HQ.

I heard a lot about Ms. Karen Galer. I heard how she invites staff to the offices at the airport and intimidates them with close service terminations. She does it with coldness and regardless of anything that staff has to say in their defence. A the same time, if asked something about Emirates rules and policies, she doesn’t know the answers. So, her only job is to tell people that they are fired.

I was seeking for so long to find out who “Karen” is. Please, feel free to describe your experiences with her because she is, by my opinion, typical representative of an inhumane approach to employees in Emirates Airline, especially as she is working as an HR manager – who supposed to be responsible for staff’s well-being.

Ms. Karen is also welcome to comment.

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Emirates cabin crew fired for complaining to GCAA, ACAA and IATA?

According to this e-mail from one senior staff, Emirates Airline cabin crew complained to GCAA, ACAA and IATA on illegal layover length, fatigue and breach of safety rules and they got fired due to “inappropriate behavour”. Apparently, according to Emirates Airline managers, it’s inappropriate to contact international regulative organizations responsible for aviation safety and rules to complain on violation of those rules.

This is the e-mail that I have got today:

Hi Dragana,

i hope you are doing alright..
it took me sometime to find the courage to send this email to be honest im a bit afraid of loosing my job.
anyhow, here are some new stuff been going
i have xxx godforsaken flight to JFK during the snow storm where they had only 10 hours layover…. 4 of the crew xxx decided to make an official complaint to GCAA, ACAA & IATA , the e-mail was successfully sent , read and replied to… however, apparently emirates has it own people everywhere, somehow Mr. Terry received a copy of that e-mail ????

and as you know these days he is operating ” OPEN FORUM ” same one as Anoma did which led to your termination …. needless to say  its not going well as only about 400 crews decided to show up which made him say its an “isolated problem” ( because half of them are on leave and the other are operating, which he didn’t think of ) the point is he had a meeting with those 4 crews who sent the e-mail to GCAA and guess what happened after a long lecture about work ethics and bragging about how emirates is feeding them and their families , it ended up by 2 of them being terminated due ” inappropriate behavior “   how ironic… apparently this is the reason to termainte staff when you don’t have a reason, as for the other 2 crews since they didn’t use their company email to send the complaint they were blessed by a final written warning and … wait for it ….. leave balance forfeiting … swap freeze …. no access to company e-mail… WOOOW now the manager will send them email which they cant ready and they will be terminated ….
disregarding how unethical and a severe breach of company/uae labor laws which emirates is anyhow above it, they had to accept it because of their financial problems and their knowledge that they can’t get a better or same level job back in their countries … how sad…but true..
as we speak there is another open forum is going and i’ll send you the outcome when i get it.

as for EKAS
after Mr. walter promised to take EKAS to the new level… i can’t deny he did some improvements (THANKS TO YOU AND YOUR BLOG)
Mr. walter had several meetings with MASs and ASMs on how to make EKAS better ( for the company )
and the out come was ( as per some ASMs whom im close friend with )
1- all staff with more than 60 hours sickness are not entitled for grade.

2- verbal warning to be issued for staff who don’t comply with uniform and image standards…

3- sick reporting is now 5 hours before duty, any call after that will not be documented and staff will be marked absent ( great now i have to wake up 6 hours before my duty to see if im fit to work or not)

4- no more LOCAL LEAVES authorized by ASMs or MASs.
and yet more to come… im just waiting for walter to publish them ( i doubt it )

and hey .. do you remember that glorious day for emirates on 19 Dec where they had a record of passengers numbers ?
here is something for you about it, Mr. walter was so generous and gave all staffs who were working that day 25AED meal voucher BUT.. no time for the staff to eat, i was doing morning shift that day, and i witnessed staff who had 8-9 tasks on 10 hours shift, with a maximum break of 15 minutes ( time between gate to another) and when someone called RTC they bluntly informed the staff there is no break in your contract …..
staff were asked to perform all kind of tasks including remote departures/arrivals SAT and boarding.. and due to lack of staff that day many flights were without enough staff and some without Gate supervisors and i know some of the staff who had no GS on their flights got warnings because the flight was delayed….
how would you expect a staff who only got trained for boarding (BAMBAM) in 2 weeks to do a job that requires intensive system experience..
i can’t recall allllllll the incidents that happened with details , but you have my word, your blog will be my tongue.
eveyone (who is not a hypocrite or an ass kisser) is very proud of you and what you have achieved for us.

thank you for everything.

Email from a senior Emirates staff

Email from a senior Emirates staff


Update from former Senior Vice President of Emirates Airline

History of serious mismanagement in Emirates Airline lasts for many years now. Like in every basket, one or few rotten apples spoil the whole basket of fruit.This process manifests itself as systematic disposal of honest and ethical managers and staff, who are not willing to comply to rottenness. This process went out of control since Sir Maurice Flanagan left the rudder to others.

So what happens with one company when honest people leave? It is left with network of dishonest, incapable and weak managers who abuse the company and its staff to get profit and benefits for themselves, especially when they know that they have to leave the country one day. Of course, these managers are not capable to create, conduct and successfully finish most of their projects as most of the good and skilled people left or they are kept quiet, blackmailed and threatened with warnings and service terminations.

I already wrote about Ms. Anoma Manuel’s (former Divisional Vice President Airport Services) failed project with new ABC check in and boarding system. Ms. Anoma is so rampant that she decided to forcefully implement this project although the feedback on it was very bad. But, as Ms. Anoma told me once – her seniors are friends of hers. So, she is protected. And her bonus is protected. But who will protect the company and its staff from this kind of incompetent and bully managers? Who will stop the absurd waste of money on meaningless projects, which their innovators falsely present as “successful and useful” or they just cover all the traces of projects’ failures?

Mr.Tom Burgess's (former Senior Vice President in Emirates Airline) blog.

Mr.Tom Burgess’s (former Senior Vice President in Emirates Airline) blog.

People criticized me for asking Ms. Anoma about her salary. I was fired for asking her about her salary. But I would ask her again. And again. And again. Because she doesn’t care about the sufferings of her staff. She would rather waste huge amounts of company’s money on unnecessary projects, just to look good in her superiors’ eyes and to ensure her bonus, than to take care of her staff.

Unfortunately, she is not the only manager who wastes company’s money just as I am not the only former employee who writes the blog about injustices and management’s incompetency in Emirates Airline.

As I wrote at the beginning of this article, EK’s rotten management apples systematically spoil or get rid of their best managers. Mr.Tom Burgess is one of these managers. I will let you read his blog and decide about his intentions, skills and motivation. Today I want to re-publish his newest article which describes the exact mechanism on how managers waste company’s money on ludicrous projects while underpaying, bullying and punishing their hard working staff at the same time. This example is on the much higher level of management as Mr.Burgess had an important and responsible role in Emirates Airline.

Mr.Burgess was employed in higher management of Emirates Airline as Senior Vice President in EG IT department with Mr.Patrick Naef as Divisional Senior Vice President. On Mr.Burgess’s blog you can read everything on poisoned and backstabbing organisational culture in Emirates IT department, where Mr.Patrick Naef uses some questionable methods to get rid of all the managers who “stand on his way” of deceiving the top management about the real condition of his department.

DSVP of EGIT department

DSVP of EGIT department Patrick Naef

This is just the part of the article. You can read the whole article here.

No winner, many losers.

***

Seeing the many comments on the web about the way staff are treated in the Emirates group, including a focus on salaries, led me to do a rough calculation.  I believe that if the money wasted on Mercator Asia had been diverted to EKAS budgets, all ground staff could have enjoyed a 20% pay increase for every one of the four years of Mercator Asia operation.  And this is only looking at the cost of one failed initiative – try to imagine how much money has been poured into the IT drain over the last nine years!

The most odious of problems facing the Emirates group is the bullying of staff by managers, but perhaps the biggest issue is that front line staff, critical to the business, are overworked and underpaid.  But it would not be difficult to take a broom to the numerous support areas (not just EG-IT) and divert the proceeds to much better use.

***

Fundamental changes are essential, but some people are still thrashing around in the depths of the denial stage of the change curve.  At least there has been recognition that there is a major problem, but real progress will not be possible until some time is spent looking in the mirror.  It will take true leadership to get the ball of change rolling and then, when it comes, the really difficult challenges will emerge.

Mercator Asia project is mentioned very often at Mr.Burgess's blog.

Mercator Asia project is mentioned very often at Mr.Burgess’s blog.

Perhaps the biggest task will be to convince staff that the company is serious about change.  To illustrate this point, what will Patrick Naef need to do to persuade you to trust him?

And will anyone know what to do?  Adopting a policy of being open and honest will be a major start.  But, in my experience, the further people rise up the corporate ladder, the greater difficulty they have with the concept of being open and honest.  The line between what staff should be told (i.e. most things) and what they shouldn’t be (i.e. commercially or personally confidential information) is well understood by the majority of staff, but creates paranoia nearer the top.

And who will actually lead this essential change project?  Assuming someone who can be trusted is found, will they have the necessary skills?  Turning a corporate culture around is not a job for a bunch of external consultants, a genuine understanding of the issues is a prerequisite.  And he/she will also need the resolve to stand up to some pretty powerful figures, who I doubt will ever be genuinely convinced that a different way will be the right way.

However, the cause is far from lost because the company is blessed with tens of thousands of loyal, competent and hard working staff.  They want success for the company as much as they want it for themselves and I am sure they will be tolerant during what will be a lengthy process.  And for every bad manager in the company, there are numerous decent and capable managers.  They just need to be given more of a voice.

But delay is counterproductive.  As time moves on more evidence of the way Emirates treats its staff will emerge on the blogs and forums, more staff will resign, more careers will be wasted and more money will be poured down the drains of Dubai.

Posted by Tom Burgess at 22:37

 

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Emirates Airline’s life style brand: your good life style is our staff’s miserable life OR How Emirates Airline robs from its employees?

I have read this article yesterday and I was left speechless due to insolence of the last paragraph where Mr.Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline and former CEO, states:

 “I just do not accept that the airline business is cyclical, and that airlines will inevitably go out of business in the end,” he said. “The ones who’ve disappeared in the past – like Pan Am and TWA – had different business models. And none of them had Dubai, with its geocentricity. None of the legacy carriers had the kind of thinking we have and the natural aviation attractions of a domestic hub like Dubai.”

Employees of Emirates Airline are sick and tired of their managers telling to the public how powerful company is, arrogantly lecturing other airlines and accusing them of bad business practises in comparison with EK’s business practises.

This is the simple truth about Emirates Airline’s business practice:

Emirates Airline hires staff from less developed countries by deceiving them about their contracts and working conditions and then they exploit and abuse them.

I was, for example, hired for Dnata’s Marhaba service. Only when I came to Dubai I found out that I will be working in check in area. Since salary for ground staff is so small and working conditions so bad, during the recruitment process recruiters use lies to make people willing to come and work for them. The usual way is to tell the cabin crew wannabes that they can apply for cabin crew from ground staff, if they come to work as ground staff. This is an obvious lie, because internal hirings are rare and only few among hundreds of applicants are chosen due to the shortage of staff in Airport Services. 

Once people arrive to Dubai, they already left their homes and previous jobs, if they had them. So, every “take it or leave it” choice is, actually, mean emotional blackmail as most of them don’t have where to return to. This makes new employees of Emirates Airline vulnerable for all sorts of exploitation and abuse. Their contract is violated with forced overtimes and extra unpaid working hours and with all sorts of bullying and punishing for a small or for somebody else’s mistake. 

I already wrote about the things that ground staff do for free in Emirates Airline. Today I am going to explain a few more ways of EK managers to steal money from their employees

1. Blackmail with End of Service benefit

Emirates Airline has a huge problem with massive resignations. So huge that they even don’t have enough crew to operate the flights, so some flights are cancelled or delayed. Management is even lying to the cabin crew by not telling them until the briefing that they would be doing double turnarounds or double sectors (!). There are situations (usually when flying short distances and double turnarounds – Doha, Kuwait, Muscat) where crew is working 12 hours per day and being paid for only 4 or 5 hours which is how much they are in the air. Company doesn’t include ground hours in crew’s salary although crew is at work.

Due to these awful working conditions and poisoned organizational culture, which are very damaging for staff’s health, many crew resign. Problem is that Emirate Airline can’t afford so many resignations. They desperately need crew and they don’t have enough resources to process so many resignations. So they have decided to start to reject crew’s resignations. Of course, crew want their End of Service benefit so they can’t just go, they want to resign properly and as per the law. Managers know this so they are now abusing this fact to force people to stay a little bit longer in the company, keeping them as half hostages. I’ve got this information from one cabin crew:

I recently flew with a xxx, who has been in the company around xxx years. Crew has given in their resignation letter TWICE and both times they received an email saying, that they are unfortunately unable to process the REQUEST due to the …probably operational needs 🙂  Shorty, this resignation was declined because there are too many people leaving. And as crew’s EOSB are around 20 000 AED or above for now, so crew cannot just leave or be kicked out, they want to have their hard earned money.

Keeping an unsatisfied employee by force and manipulating them to stay with money, is taking EK’s unprofessional HR management and poor organizational culture to a whole new extremely disgraceful level. The company is just rotting from inside and it’s only a matter of time when the outside is starting to turn ugly as well.

2. Overcharging for uniform items

As much as this seems ridiculous it is happening for a long time now. Let’s take shoes for example. Staff is forced to wear them for one year. After that they get free replacements. It is just outrageous to expect anyone to wear the same shoes almost every working day for a whole year. But EK managers do that, hoping that many staff will just go to their store and buy new ones for around 180 AED. And many staff do so, as it is very dangerous to walk around on ruined heels.

The newest idea of EK management on how to take money from their employees are “nationality pins” (flag pins) which cabin crew are forced to wear. Every replacement costs 30 AED. You guess how many lost small pins will be in one year and what profit will EK have just by charging the pin replacements.

3. Asking for money from former employees

When I went to collect my suspension salary, it wasn’t in the system. Instead, EK end of service counter staff notified me that I owe the company several thousands of dirhams. He even printed the bill for me. I laughed. I asked him three times to check with his superiors about my salary, which he finally did. And I got my salary. Not without the troubles. 

One former ground staff sent me recently her bill. She got it at her home address. She resigned suddenly. She went home and never came back which is a usual situation in Emirates Airline. But this girl notified her managers that she will not come back, she arranged her uniform and uniform assets to be returned to the company and she asked how she can cancel her visa from her home country. She left her End of service money and leave balance to the company. After three months she got a letter from Emirates Airline, asking her to pay several thousands of dirhams to them. This bill included the deduction of her notice period salary (she didn’t do her notice period) but it didn’t include her End of service benefit and unpaid leave balance which she left to the company. How embarrassing is this? Such a huge and “successful” company trying to squeeze the money from their abused employees?

And I just happen to personally know several other people who were asked for a money at the end of their service.

EK Letter to former employee (at the bottom there is a threat what will happen if dues are not paid)

EK Letter to former employee (at the bottom there is a threat what will happen if dues are not paid)

 

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The bill which doesn’t include end of service benefit and rest of leave days. A sneaky way of EK managers to try and take the money from their former employees.

4. Cancelling loads view in the staff travel system

One of the benefit of working with any airline are discounted airplane tickets. There are numerous types of discounted staff tickets, but most popular are called ID90 and ID50. ID90 is a cheaper, standby ticket. You only get a seat if there are available seats on board. ID50 is more expensive one, but it should be confirmed, you should get your seat except in extraordinary circumstances.

Whenever they travelled before, staff could see in the system the exact number of booked seats and number of staff with discounted tickets travelling. It was very useful information as it gave the staff opportunity to plan their trips and calculate the possibility the get the seat on a desired flight.

Recently, EK management decided to cancel this option. No more exact numbers of passengers on flights. Why? Answer is very easy: more people will buy more expensive ID50 tickets in order to have bigger chances to get the seat and less people will travel uncertain of their possibilities to be back on time. Less people travelling means more people available for work, which is a good deal for EK because they are lack of staff anyway.

More on this subject here.

Loads can be seen only in colours now.

Loads can be seen only in colours now.

Explanation on colour meaning.

Explanation on colour meaning.

These are just few ways of how Emirates Airline robs its employees. I know you know many more ways, so please do write about them in the comments.

So, it seems that Mr.Tim Clark found a better business model after all. Of course, airlines which he criticizes for having difficulties only have them because their competition airline abuses underpaid half slaves. This doesn’t make Mr.Tim Clark a business genius, but rather a ruthless and unethical manager who had the luck to be on the top of the company which is not the subject to any labour law.

Mr.Tim Clark also forgets that Abu Dhabi, Doha and Muscat also have a great “geocentricity”, so Emirates Airline is not without a competition.

There are, also, other ways to be left out of the business. One of the most important ones is brutal exploitation of labour force. One company can not simply abuse thousands of people for years and then expect to be loved and successful brand.

So much of a life style brand. Your good life style is our staff’s miserable life.

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Mr.Tim Clark’s contribution to toxic organizational culture

One commenter left a link to the interesting LinkedIn article about signs that a company suffers from the toxic culture. You can read the whole article here, and I will quote the first part of it just to prove the point from my title:

 Influencer

Chairman, JetBlue Airways. Stanford Business School

I once asked an executive to share the essence of his company’s culture with the members of a business school class I was teaching. His response was that in his company, his view was, “We don’t need no stinkin’ culture.”

But that’s exactly what they had: a “stinking culture.”

“We don’t need no stinkin’ culture” can become the motto of Emirates Airline managers. It sounds similar to “We don’t need no education”, but I don’t think that Pink Floyd meant it in a way in which many decision makers in Emirates Airline comprehend this song.

I am more harsh than usual today because I forgot how arrogant and nervy e-mails from EK top management can sound. I just got one today and it made me think about the motives of one airline president to treat his staff like a flock of sheep.

Never forget that organizational culture starts from the top and for Mr.Tim Clark’s information these are the symptoms of the toxic organizational culture:

1. Unhappy people. When disgruntled people are in management positions, culture quickly become toxic, resulting in high turnover or the wrong kind of turnover (where the stars leave and the “dead wood” stays).

2. Unclear values. A management team that can’t articulate the priorities of the business or quantify them and set up ways to measure success won’t have value clarity – a culture killer.

3. No common language or folklore. The best cultures tell great inside stories, remember their history and celebrate heroic culture carriers.

4. Power-hoarding managers. Where leaders withhold information and use fear as the key motivator, the odds of developing a high-trust culture go to zero.

5. Second-class citizens. Bad cultures have a caste system. If the output of only one kind of producer is recognized and valued, it’s impossible to build a great culture.

6. Superficial diversity. Where managers only use race, gender and politics to create a superficial diversity, instead of ensuring that people with different life experiences are represented in the workplace, they can create cynicism.

Emirates Airline has all of these symptoms on very high levels, so what is Mr.Tim Clark’s contribution to it?

It’s simple. Mr.Tim Clark has no contact with his company’s reality or maybe he does have it but he ignores it. If it wasn’t so why he would continue to send quarterly updates which severely insult his employees’ intelligence? Mr.Tim Clark has a situation of massive dissatisfaction among his employees. Cabin crew department suffers from mass exodus. He doesn’t have enough crew to operate the flights and he had to fire three top Human Resource managers due to disappointing results on survey about employees’ satisfaction. Airport Services is barely alive.

Yet, this report doesn’t mention survey results or the fact that three top managers left the company. Instead, Mr.Tim Clark painted a picture with butterflies and roses, telling the staff things he usually tells them, which can be translated as:

Everything is fine, Emirates is still a powerful company, we are earning loads of money, everyone is happy and proud to work for EK, but (and there is always a “but”) unfortunately some mysterious circumstances, outside the boundaries of your understanding, MIGHT occur and we will give our best to resolve it, but your profit share, which you have earned with your devotion, hard and proud work, is endangered. Maybe we will give you some charity, but don’t hope for much.

Screenshot (233)

Mr.Tim Clark’s quarterly report

Someone could just ask a question: Is it wiser to mislead intelligent and educated employees, already demotivated and humiliated or is it wiser to deceive media and competition? You can’t deceive them both at the same time. This is Mr.Tim Clark’s decision, and I have no intention to interfere in it. He is an experienced and skilled top manager with a lot of difficult issues and decisions to deal with. But I want to send him a message that it is a very bad idea to treat people like previously mentioned flock of sheep. And you must think that your people are sheep if you tell them that they might not have their profit share because of the “falling rates of major currencies against the strong US dollar“:

Since October

Plunging oil prices have reduced our fuel bill greatly. But this has been partially offset by another challenge – falling rates of major currencies against the strong US dollar. As a large part of our revenues across the network are earned in foreign currencies, we now get much less when these are converted to the US dollar. And because of intense competition, our yields and route profits are under pressure. Our teams are working hard to reduce this twin impact on our business.

If this sentence was not so ridiculous, in circumstances where most of the customers buy their tickets with US dollars and credit cards, and the prices in local currencies are always equivalent to US dollar where company takes the highest rate of conversion, it would be just sad how one company president tries to justify the fact that he will not (maybe) pay his hard-working staff their deserved profit share.

Moreover, Mr.Tim Clark has the nerves to advise his employees how to save money (??).

Coming up

How can you help? Be firm about costs. With the financial year-end in March, don’t feel compelled to spend any surplus in your budget. Invest only in important projects that give solid returns. And rather than add more resources, work smart, think different. The more layers you add to the business, the graver the danger of losing speed and agility.

Screenshot (232)

Mr.Tim Clark’s e-mail

Mr.Tim Clark gives a personal example for this last paragraph. He is very firm about his costs. He pays his ground staff 3500 AED salary, he doesn’t give profit share (or he gives just couple of weeks of it), he punishes pilots for flushing toilet paper in their homes with 600 euros salary deduction and so on.

On the other hand, Mr.Tim Clark “works smart” when he gives his unnecessary managers salary which is many times bigger than the salary of an average worker who deals with his airline’s safety, he spends money on failed projects (failed ABC check in and boarding system, for example) and he “thinks different” when he sponsors many sport events and teams, while many of his staff are ridiculed and humiliated with the salary and working conditions in his company.

I guess my End of Service Benefit, which I am expecting for 5 months now, is also lost in all the conversions from Serbian dinars to US dollars to UAE dirhams and back to US dollars and this is the reason why I didn’t get it so far. And as stupid as I am, I really do need Mr.Tim Clark’s advice on how to save the money which I don’t have.

But the important thing is that we are all proud that we worked or we are still working with Emirates and that our president is quite “touched” with our feedback on his report. Everything else, like profit share, survival in toxic organisational culture, deterioration of working conditions, massive turnover rate and incompetent management, is less important than the fact that we are all proud of being the part of it.

 

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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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Over 27.000 readers in one day

I started to write this blog as an expression of my helplessness after the termination of my service with Emirates Airline (EK).

Before I was fired I was working for year and a half at the airport. The only good things which I have got from EK are my accommodation in the first month (hotel), my check in training and first couple of months of my work there. I will not forget my couple of trips to foreign countries also, but since I paid for those with starvation, money and nerves for waiting on standby tickets and finding replacements to be able to travel in the first place, I give less merit to EK for those. I also cherish my friends from Dubai, but I don’t give EK merit for meeting and keeping them at all.

In the first couple of months I was very happy to be able to meet people from all over the world and to broaden my mind and experience. I was so enthusiastic and positive that I was even cleaning (picking up things in front of the counters) the airport from the litter that passengers leave after their transit through the airport. I was warm and polite, always concerned if my passengers are satisfied and taken care of (yes I was).

17th place among 100 most read WordPress blogs in the world.

17th place among 100 most read WordPress blogs in the world.

After three months I figured out that EK is a black hole for energy and enthusiasm. They only take and give nothing or very little in return. They abuse your enthusiasm for work until you can’t continue anymore. At that point they will show no mercy. They will tell you to leave if you don’t like it. And since they are not the subject of the Federal Labour Law, they will not pay you 3 salaries upon your resignation (as per the law). They will pay you your End of Service Benefit (EOSB) but only if they think you deserve it. I didn’t deserve it since I dared to write an Open Letter to His Highness the Chairman of Emirates Airline. So, managers thought that it was a good idea to call my Embassy and tell them that I can end up in prison for writing that letter.

Before my service was terminated I was called for meetings, punished with warnings for telling my opinion on the training and not wanting to allow that my two days off in a row be taken away from me for forced overtime and forced training. I had a misunderstanding with a passenger who was, by my opinion, aggressive and only made a scene in order to be upgraded to business class (I was very stressed out by that point already). Finally, I asked Divisional Vice President how much is her salary as she was asking me why I signed the contract with Emirates. That contract was violated many times, starting from transgression of my working hours, via refused leave and doing couple of tasks at once, sitting 6 hours without a break, to inhumane shifts of 12 hours per day 4 days in a row and insane “night” shifts which lasted until 9, 10 or 11am. I had problems with my health and sleep.

Over 64.000 people reached on Facebook.

Over 64.000 people reached on Facebook.

The behaviour of most of our superiors and managers was completely unacceptable. Airport lower grade staff did all the hard work. Managers had a job to walk around and act like bosses. Literally. Too many insecure managers can be a nightmare for employees. And overall organizational culture in EK demands from managers to behave ruthless and treat staff like children. If you can’t do it, you are not the manager EK is looking for. And you have to have connections (wastas) of course.

In several occasions this blog was so popular that it made it on the list of 100 most read WordPress blogs in the world. Open letter to His Highness had over 16.000 visitors and around 30.000 views. The same situation happened when EK managers tried to censor the blog by reporting me to WordPress.

New record is breached today. Latest blog post attracted over 27.000 visitors (according to StatCounter website) and over 40.000 views (according to WordPress statistics). Blog is on the 17th place of 100 most read blogs in the world and latest article is on 6th place today.

Over 27.000 visitors today.

Over 27.000 visitors today.

I know that management is furious. I know that they don’t like me. They never answer my e-mails and text messages when I ask for my End of Service benefit which they didn’t pay me. Journalists contacted me, but I never gave an actual interview as my goal is not to bash Emirates in media. My goal is to raise the awareness that we are all becoming cold-blooded machines for making money and that humane approach to business is lost. We are not humans anymore and we lost the battle with the system we created by ourselves.

I wish that instead of threatening me with a prison, someone from EK HR management called and told me that they don’t want me to work for them as I don’t fit their vision of Emirates employee. I wish that they told me that Ms.Anoma Manuel doesn’t like her employees not to be intimidated by her and that she wants me out of Airport Services department. I wish that someone in EK was reasonable enough to shake my hand for goodbye and give me my repatriation ticket and my EOSB. Everything would be different.

Emirates Airline management crossed the line first when they threaten me with the prison. It was madness and it gave me the whole perspective of the extent of the bullying policy that management is conducting.

I may consider shut down of this blog once I get what belongs to me. This is not a threat but a pure truth.

It would be hard to shut it down though as this blog doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to all the people who found comfort from your negligence here, dear managers. I told you before that this could happen. I told you everything, actually. I told you that i have recorded you and I told you that I will go to public. It wasn’t a threat. I was simply honest. It was a plea for you to show some humanity. You have decided to be arrogant instead. You have decided to continue to treat people like they have no brains or skills, to underestimate them. 

6th among 100 most read WordPress articles in the world.

6th among 100 most read WordPress articles in the world.

I know you are angry, but please – turn that anger back to yourselves. You have mishandled the situation. You had one very bad DVP who doesn’t know how to respect her staff and you have decided to protect one incompetent manager over hundreds and thousands of employees. It was your decision and your disposable staff policy.

I have nothing to do with your mistakes and your anger.