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Tag Archives: Walter Riggans DVP EKAS

Emirates Airline fired my friend for supporting me

Emirates management fired a good friend of mine today out of blue for something she did at the end of last year.

Namely, she commented my article on Truth About Emirates Airline Management Facebook page. My friend wasn’t given a notice period or warning. She was just fired for writing a comment on my article so many moths ago. She didn’t lie about it. She was honest and straight until the end. Emirates managers do not care about honesty. They don’t care about their staff. They left my friend on the street with debts and no money for a rent.

This particular friend of mine supported me all the way through my fight. She was always open in her support, always wanting Emirates to become a better place for all. This is why she was brave enough to ask right questions at the Open forum for ground staff and to speak clearly and loudly about inhumane conditions in Emirates Airline. I guess managers never forgave her that and just waited for a “right moment” to terminate her service. But nobody would expect that they will do it in such a cruel way, suddenly and without giving her a chance to prepare herself. They just took away her whole life in Dubai from her in five short minutes.

To be honest, I wanted to stop writing this blog. My previous article on managers’ salaries supposed to be my last one. But this information changed everything. I don’t know why EK managers decided to fire my friend now for something she did so long time ago. What crosses my mind at this moment is a revenge to me and my blog after my last article. It wouldn’t be the first time for Airport Services Divisional Vice Presidents Anoma Manuel and Walter Riggans to revenge on staff for speaking up.

Let me remind you that I was also fired without notice period or any money in my pocket and was literally kicked out from the airport building like a dog. I couldn’t even get the information about my next steps for visa cancellation process because my HR profile was cancelled at the spot. I was left in the dark and on the street. Same happened to my friend.

I wanted you to know this. There is no humanity or decency among EK managers. They just keep responding to complaints and bad working conditions with cruelty, pressure and service terminations.

Shame on you, ruthless people. Shame on you in your expensive villas, with your 100.000AED salaries and bonuses. 

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Why I was not offered money for stop writing this blog?

To be honest I wanted to stop blogging long time ago, but there is always someone who wants their experience with EK to be published online. Even passengers started to seek salvation from management’s incompetence on my blog (I didn’t publish some of their e-mails at all). So, I have decided to keep this blog as a way of fighting against abuse of employees and against the fact that EK is not the subject of UAE labour law (which is outrageous per se).

I’ve heard stories from senior staff that EK was different not so long ago. Employees were treated as humans and they earned decent living salaries. Majority of them were proud to work for Emirates. In just one decade everything degraded. I guess this happened when couple of incapable but well positioned managers started to choose other incapable and corrupted managers to work in their teams, so almost whole managerial structure became well connected and corrupted. These managers saw a good opportunity for personal benefit. They know they can’t have UAE citizenship and build their future in the country, so why not take as much as you can on time?

It’s ironical how I am accused sometimes of wanting to harm the company but the reality is totally opposite. I may be the only one who, besides numerous lower grades employees and local staff, actually cares. I still miss the airport and my Dubai friends, but it’s another story. I wish the company all the best. I don’t wish managers all the best, though. They already took the best from the company and they are still taking what is left of it.

Why I was not offered money to stop writing this blog? I get this question a lot. My first guess was that I am much hated among HQ managers. Someone even left a comment here that “EK will not negotiate with terrorists”. I laughed much at this statement. I didn’t threaten anyone (but I was threatened with prison by EK managers, so who is a terrorist here?). I didn’t throw a bomb. I wanted better, dignified working conditions for me and my colleagues. Since this is a crime for our managers I’ve accepted the fact that those people on top do not like me to the extent that they even don’t want to pay me my End of Service money, which I am entitled to. I do intend to send those top managers greeting cards and wish them happy holidays, though. The same ones that their employees don’t have, because all the money went to the pockets of the managers and all the inhumanity went to the pockets of their employees.

Bottom line, if someone there wants to know what is happening inside EK, they should wisely use this blog and read it carefully. I wrote much less than several hundreds of employees who left their comments and stories here. Actually, I am convinced that somebody important does read it. Especially after devastating results of the employees’ satisfaction survey (despite the promise, survey results are not published yet. I wonder why?) and a recent launching of the Emirates Illuminati website (a secret society of undisclosed number of EK employees) whose first sarcastic action was to send warning letters to managers in HQ.

After all of this, I guess that top (HR) management finally has a proof that they are incapable to lead the company’s human resources. Many people are resigning, many are fired, many are demotivated and unhappy (survey showed how much exactly). And while very top management fights court battles to win more routes and, consequently, more money, there is a serious deficiency in working force and customer service.

The newest such deficiency is shown in Emirates’ public appeal to its customers to come to the airport on time today (Friday 19th December 2014). And while Mr. Mohammed Mattar DSVP Airport Services promises “deployment of additional work force to serve the record load at Dubai Intl Airport”, his DVP Mr. Walter Riggans is desperately seeking for staff to volunteer for over time (e-mail below). Such contradictions are nothing new in companies which grow beyond their capacities. The problem with overblown balloons is that they, eventually, burst.

"Mohammed H Mattar, divisional senior vice president, Emirates Airport Services said: "With record breaking numbers of passengers flying with Emirates this week, it is our mission to make the journey as seamless and trouble-free as possible. "We have deployed extra staff at the airport to assist our customers, and we ask all travellers to be aware of check-in and gate closure timings."

“Mohammed H Mattar, divisional senior vice president, Emirates Airport Services said: “We have deployed extra staff at the airport to assist our customers, and we ask all travellers to be aware of check-in and gate closure timings.”

Mr. Walter Riggans e-mail where he is asking staff to come for over time.

Mr. Walter Riggans e-mail where he is asking staff to come for over time.

New Divisional Vice President Airport Services Mr. Walter Riggans has introduced some changes after this blog went viral. These are the changes:

  1. Forced overtime is abolished
  2. Employees got more breaks.
  3. Leave system was modified.
  4. Old check-in software was brought back after much money was thrown away on a new system which was a disaster for check in staff
  5. Mr. Riggans promised to improve staff transport
  6. Management is giving more appreciation letters to staff. 

All of these are changes that me and my colleagues were asking for while former DVP Anoma Manuel was in charge. She did nothing but being a cause of this public blog embarrassment by bullying me and my colleagues around.

These changes mean that I was right all the time. This blog actually improved Airport Services operation. I should be paid for HR consulting services, not for stop writing this blog.

At the end of this article I want to discuss this last, sixth point of improved processes.

I was asked once by my operational manager if I think that staff would come for overtime if they get appreciation letters for it. I smiled at her. Given the fact that nobody cares about employees’ contribution to the operation these letters may have many other usages except the intended ones. Nobody will be promoted for having these letters. Nobody will be treated like human being by getting one of these letters. Nobody will get higher salary for being “appreciated”.

“I think no”, I answered her. “On the other hand, money would make them come for overtime”. It was her turn to smile back at me.

My message to Mr.Walter Riggans is that today will be just another nightmare of grumpy staffs (who volunteered for overtime in insufficient number), unsatisfied passengers and delayed flights because people are not working for glory or empty demagogy like “be part of the history”. They are working for money and the sense that they are truly appreciated and part of something bigger. They are entitled to the company’s profit as much as managers are. And even more, because many EK managerial positions are just pure raping of the company’s assets.

Merry Christmas.

Dubai International Airport in busy times.

Dubai International Airport in busy times.


Workplace harassment in Emirates Airline

Harassment at work is an omnipresent thing in Emirates Airline. This is due to undeveloped organisational culture and lack of education among EK managers.

Emirates Airline had a bad luck (or bad HR department?) to get some people with “slave holder” mentality on top positions. And while this kind of mentality was certainly efficient in the disturbing times when people were forced to pick the cotton for their “owners”, these times are different and humanity agreed about something called The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, it is possible today that some people reach high positions of VP, SVP, DVP, etc. still not being familiar with this Declaration. People with this kind of mentality are usually weak and always afraid that they’re not capable enough to cope with their responsibilities, so they use bullying and force, misusing their positions, to scare and threaten others, so that their incapability remains invisible. This is why I will write about harassment at work in this article which has the aim to raise the awareness of a workplace harassment in EK.

7174-HARASSMENT3

Workplace harassment is:

  • the offensive, belittling or threatening behavior directed at an individual worker or a group of workers[1]
  • the odious dealing through pitiless, malevolent, hurtful or embarrassing attempts to undermine an individual worker or groups of workers.[2]

Recently, matters of workplaceharassment have gained interest among practitioners and researchers as it is becoming one of the most sensitive areas of effective workplace management. In Oriental countries, it attracted lots of attention from researchers and governments since the 1980s, because a significant source of work stress is associated with aggressive behaviors at workplace.[3] Third world countries are far behind oriental countries in that there are limited efforts to investigate the questions on workplace harassment. It is almost unseen and the executive leaders (managers) are almost reluctant or unconscious about it in the third world countries.[2] Under occupational health and safety laws around the world,[4] workplace harassment and workplace bullying are identified as being core psychosocial hazards.[5]

This is a definition from Wikipedia. I would not use the term “Oriental”, since there are some really developed oriental countries (Japan, South Korea, China) which have implemented the concept of human and labour rights a long time ago. Nevertheless, I will use this definition and my case with former DVP EKAS Anoma Manuel as an example of a workplace harassment.

First of all, Emirates Airline has a policy on work related molestation of employees. Even if Ms.Anoma doesn’t read EK manuals, HR managers should know them by heart because they are the ones who write them. But it seems like EK HR high managers don’t read their own manuals as well.

For your information, this is the Emirates Airline Manual on Harassment which you can use if you are harassed by your colleague or boss.

C6-5 Avoidance Of Harassment

Context

1. Definition

2. Policy

3. Required Action By Employee

Context
The Company’s overall policy is to act with care and consistency in dealing with individual employees at all times. This is given as one of the principles in the Employment Regulation on “Code of Conduct and Business Ethics”. Details of how this policy/principle will be applied, are given below.
This policy covers the work place only. The Company cannot extend the coverage to outside the work place unless there is a very clear overlap or linkage between events and/or persons, so as to adversely affect work performance.
1. Definition
1.1
Harassment is defined as a regular and repeated pattern of behaviour between people, during interactive situations in the work/business environment, which is considered intolerable or offensive, because it is based on or includes forms of behaviour given in paragraph 1.2.
1.2
Harassment takes many forms including, but not restricted to, physical contact ranging from touching to assault, domineering and bullying behaviour, verbal and written interaction through offensive jokes and language, gossip, threats, distasteful photographs or pictures, mimicking, anonymous letters, emails, sms, telephone and mobile  calls.
1.3
Harassment does not exist merely on the basis of setting regular or repetitive performance targets, unless the method of describing these is accompanied by forms of behaviour given in paragraph 1.2.
2. Policy
2.1
The Company accepts the right of every staff member to a working environment free from harassment and will take appropriate steps to promote and maintain such an environment.
2.2
The Company will not accept that any employee should give or be subject to any form of harassment. The Company will provide protection for employees who consider that they are being harassed.
2.3
The Company is opposed to any form of harassment being practised against its employees or potential employees on the grounds of their race, creed, nationality, gender, marital status, age, colour, physical or mental disability, religious or sexual persuasion, or as given in the Definition above.
2.4
The Company will provide the means to address problems as quickly as possible, and as near as possible to the level at which the problem arises. All reports will be treated seriously and without prejudice to employees or their careers.
2.5
An employee who in good faith, reports an incident of alleged harassment of whatever form, will not suffer any penalty for doing so.
2.6
Retaliation against an employee for having complained of being involved in harassment will be deemed to be harassment itself and will be treated as a disciplinary offence.
2.7
An employee who repeats harassment action after an initial warning, will be subject to disciplinary action which could include termination.
3. Required Action By Employee
3.1
Employees should ensure that they do not harass a colleague or colleagues.
3.2
Employees should report any form of harassment as outlined under “Definition” above, provided it is supported by recorded factual details of each incident. The report should be to the appropriate Line Manager or Manager Human Resources.
3.3 Employees who observe what they consider to be unacceptable behaviour, are encouraged to report factually on behalf of the harassed colleague.

You can hear my whole story on the audio record from Termination Appeal Meeting with Ms.Michelle Carswell and Mr.Mohammad Mattar.

Long story short – the whole “molestation situation” with Ms.Anoma Manuel began when I have “replied to all recipients” in the e-mail which I got from admin, notifying me that I have to go to the training on my day off otherwise “penalty applies”.

This is the point where Ms.Anoma showed a serious lack of knowledge about labour rights and her staff’s contracts (this is nothing new, since Ms.Anoma also didn’t know that her staff has a 7 hours shift without a break. You can hear that on the audio record from the Open Forum).

Uneducated and weak personality managers are the huge sore point of Emirates Airline, because they make this gigantic company look like a concentration camp. At the same time, there are many, many check in agents, for example, who are much more educated and better mannered than former DVP EKAS and many EKAS managers. This situation was the core of the catastrophe which happened in EKAS. That department is ruined, so now a new DVP Walter Riggans has to repair the damage. He started with cancelling the new “ABC” check in and boarding system which was implemented forcefully while Ms.Anoma was there.

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So, Ms. Anoma called me for a meeting several times “to talk about my e-mail” and several times she cancelled the meeting. I don’t know if Ms. Anoma is aware, but this is a pure psychological harassment (intimidation) – employee has to prepare for the meeting with nobody else but the very DVP, and DVP is prolonging the stressful situation by delaying the meeting. By doing this, Ms.Anoma showed very severe disrespect for her staff. Third time when Ms.Anoma scheduled the meeting, I called sick due to heavy headache and nausea. At the same time I was constantly “warned” by my supervisors and duty officers that I am “monitored” by the management.

I went to the forced training, under the stress, and I didn’t agree with the trainer that we “have two options in the company – to find the happiness inside or to resign”. I disagreed in a very civilized manner, but majority of trainers and managers in EK are not aware of the concept of “civilized discussion” and the fact that “if you are not with me, you are against me” is not true. (Local) trainer complained on me, and Ms.Anoma was happy to give me the warning, although all the witnesses from the training confirmed that there was no arguing at the class and that we were just discussing Richard Branson’s thesis about the importance of staff’s happiness.

ASM (airport services manager) who gave me the warning told me that it is “from Ms.Anoma” and that she told me that this time “I have to schedule a meeting with her” if I want to talk about my warning. This was already even beyond bullying, as it was, by my opinion, a pure revenge because I didn’t come to a third scheduled meeting with her.

Anoma Manuel, former DVP EKAS

Anoma Manuel, former DVP EKAS

I left it as it was. I didn’t go to Ms.Anoma and I kept quiet, continuing to do my job. But, I was already under the huge pressure, shaken by meetings, interrogations and stress.

I have got my final warning for a (local – this is important thing to say, because staff is often given a warning when a passenger with a western or local passport complains on staff) passenger. Passenger went against my instructions aggressively, I told the staff that passenger is not checked in and not to check her in, because I have instructed her where to go, and the passenger made a whole drama which nobody, from a supervisor, via duty officer, ASM and MAS (manager airport services) COULDN’T RESOLVE. This speaks a lot about management capability. Hysterical passenger got an upgrade, and I got a final warning, although I was just doing my job (guiding the passengers to the right counters), I didn’t offend or yell at the passenger. Many passengers know that if they make a fuss, they will get everything they want, so passengers use that strategy a lot. Management, on the other hand, doesn’t want to take the responsibility and stop this practice. Instead, they are wasting company’s money and punishing staff.

Ms.Anoma was happy to arrange this warning as well.

Only after all of this torture I came to the Open Forum and asked Ms.Anoma about her salary. After all the “inappropriate behaviour” that she consciously did, mine was almost benign, provoked by serious bullying that Ms. Anoma and EKAS management conducted over me.

harassment (1)

This is a pure example of a ruthless workplace mobbing and I hope that it will serve to all managers and staff to get familiar with this concept as it is very harmful for such an ambitious company as EK is.

Paradoxically, the final move on this whole story was made by HR management which didn’t make a tiniest effort to respond to the complaint of mine, let alone to take some actions. They fired me instead. And wanted to put me in prison.

If you ever decide to file a complaint on harassment (I hope that after all that happened with my complaint, HR managers will not dare to fire harassed complainants again), this is how it should look like (remember to read the Manual first and to mention all the parts of the Manual which were violated in your case, describing the way they were violated and all the events). I also hope that outstations’ staff will not be endangered by Ms.Anoma Manuel’s and her bosses’ bullying behaviour, as much as hub staff was.

If Emirates Airline is serious in becoming the biggest and the best airliner in the world, they will have to stop the practices where their own management (including HR managers!) violates company’s manuals.

This complaint was sent to (former?) SVP HR Sophia Panayiotou, SVP HR Masooma Hassan and EVP/COO Adel Ahmad Al Redha.

Nobody replied.

Dear Ms Sophia, Ms Massooma and Mr Redha,

My name is Dragana and I work as a check-in agent. I was regruted abroad and my profession is graduated HR Manager with a master degree.
Forgive me for not being specific in chapters of the Employee Regulations Manual below in the text since I only have a copy of couple of relevant pages with me in the moment of writing this e-mail.
I would like to file an official complaint of harassment over me done by EKAS DVP Anoma Manuel in accordance with:
No 1 Employee Regulations Manual – Disciplinary – 2. General Guidelines – 2.3.2. Gross Misconduct – Discrimination or harassment of employees or member of the public
I would like to report serious violation of Employee Regulations Manual done by DVP Anoma Manuel in accordance with:
No 2  Employee Regulations Manual – Chapter missing – 1. Personal Conduct – 1.2. Employees are prohibited from using their position and authority to further their personal interest.
No 3  Employee Regulations Manual – Disciplinary – 3. Disciplinary hearings – 3.2.2 For formal hearings  the employee will be given written notice as is reasonable given the nature of the misconduct and the preparation time required. This, however, will not be less than 24 hours so the employee can prepare for the hearing. The notice will contain details of the alleged misconduct.
No 4  Employee Regulations Manual – Disciplinary – 4. Disciplinary Action Sequence – 4.2 Written warning
No 5  Employee Regulations Manual – Disciplinary – 4. Disciplinary Action Sequence – 4.3 Final written warning
No 6  Employee Regulations Manual – Disciplinary – Section C6-3 (C) – 1. Appeals – 1.2. The employee will be given five working days (from the date the decision is conveyed) to appeal against the decision in writing to the Appeal Authority. If a written appeal is not received within this period, the action taken will be deemed final and binding.
No 7  Employee Regulations Manual – Disciplinary – Section C6-3 (C) – 1. Appeals – 1.6. The Appeal Authority will generally give a decision within 5 working days after the hearing.
And I would like to seek your immediate protection from torture that I am exposed to at my working place in accordance with:
No 8 Employee Regulations Manual – Chapter missing – 12. Respect for the individual – The company will act with care and consistency in dealing with individual employees at all times.
I have already asked an appointment with a Group psychologist, since I am feeling depressed and very stressed out.
I will try to explain what happened, although this unbearable situation is lasting for almost half of a year now, with culmination in the last few days.
As you may or may not know, in answer of every day complaints and resignations of staff at EKAS department, DVP Ms Anoma Manuel organized Open Forums for all staff to give them “opportunity to be heard”. I was attending the last forum in series, which was conducted on 21St of July. During the forum I asked Ms Anoma several questions. My feeling was that I was ignored, bullied and silenced during the whole timings of the forum.
After the forum I was called for the Disciplinary Meeting. I was notified that the reason is “Inappropriate behaviour”, without any other given details. I have assumed that I am called regarding my participation on the Open forum. Now, I have an audio record of everything that was happening at the forum, so everyone can conclude and decide who was behaving unprofessional and inappropriate during the forum, that is a separate issue. But this is the moment when I want to report that the Disciplinary procedure from the Employee Regulations Manual (No 3 in above text) was violated. I should receive any written notice about Disciplinary Hearing 24 hours in advance. I have received a text message by Shaher Banu on my phone at 3:02 pm inviting me for the Hearing on the next day at 12:00 am. Since I had duty yesterday from 5pm, I saw the message only when I came to the airport at 4:50 pm.
When i reached the airport I have opened my e-mail and I saw an invitation for a Disciplinary Hearing from Shaher Banu (with Mr Rami El Samra and HRM Amanda Maxwell in cc). I have replied to that e-mail, explaining that it is impossible for me to come at 12am next day, since I am working until 3am, that I need my sleep and I need time to find available witness. Mr Rami El Samra answered my e-mail, notifying me that I will be released from my duty at midnight. I answered to that e-mail that it is still impossible for me to prepare psychologically and to find my witness. Mr Rami did not send any reply after that.
Around 9pm I have got the call from RTC notifying me to go to MAS office. When I went there, MAS notified me that Ms Anoma sent him an e-mail in the early afternoon about my early release. I have told to MAS that I have already notified Mr Rami about my difficulties to attend the Disciplinary meeting. MAS sent e-mail to Ms Anoma and I stayed at my duty until 3pm.
Now, this is a very painful and stressful situation for me. I was not given a legal notice for preparation and I was feeling forced to come to the meeting (after my tiring night shift), although I did not have time to find my witness (given the fact that most of my friends and colleagues are afraid to be witnesses because of the constant latent threat that they will lose their jobs if they support me).
I am also feeling prosecuted and punished for saying my opinion on the Open Forum that had an aim to enable staff to tell their opinions and ask questions. This is outrageous for me, I am not used to this severe violation of my right to express my opinion in a polite way. I am shocked by this Disciplinary Meeting invitation since I did absolutely nothing wrong and I have a proof for that. I consider this for a ruthless harassment at my working place.
Reading Employee Regulations Manual, I found out that I haven’t done any of Misconduct or Gross Misconduct acts.
I am constantly punished and called for meetings and hearings for the last couple of months. It is happening since I have expressed to Ms Anoma my desire to be treated as a human being and not a slave.
  1. Ms Anoma is forcing me to come to work on my days off.
  2. Ms Anoma is giving me shifts of 12 hours with one hour break (which gives me the chance to eat only once in 14 hours, including transport).
  3. Ms Anoma is giving me the whole shift of 7 hours without any break.
  4. Ms Anoma is making me attend trainings on my day offs, and then, if I do not show up, she is taking 500 dirhams from my salary to punish me.
  5. Ms Anoma is giving me only 5 hours to sleep, depriving me from my sleep.
  6. Ms Anoma imposed rule of fear at the airport where everyone are afraid of warnings and terminations.
  7. A few days ago my e-mail account was restricted for communication with all grade 4 and 5 staff. I am not sure who did this, but it is a very serious attempt to isolate me from my friends and colleagues.
  8. I have a lot more issues with Ms Anoma, but the most important one, which violated Employee Regulations Manual is when she violated Written Warning procedure.
Recently, I had an issue with a passenger who would not listen to my instructions, behaving aggressive and dangerous. In accordance with company safety rules, I have instructed the staff not to check in the passenger and, since the passenger was shouting on me, I expressed my intention to call a police to protect myself. After this issue I was called for hearing, because passenger complained on my conduct. Several procedures were violated during this process:
1. My hearing was held IN FRONT of the passenger, so I did not have a proper chance to defend myself.
2. My solo hearing was not held on the same day when incident happened, but only several days later, in the presence of HR manager.
3. I have got a written warning for this incident (explanation was that “I have no right to refuse anyone’s check in since I am not security and that I have no right to call the police.” When I have expressed my feeling that I was psychologically attacked by the passenger, I got the answer from my ASM that “there is no such thing as a psychological harassment in this company”).
4. I had a witness to this incident whom nobody called to tell her perception of the incident.
5. I have got the copy and a notification about this Written warning on 20th June (Friday), but the Warning was dated 18 June. Since I had 5 days to appeal, I was left with only ONE day to send my appeal and I have a proof for that since MAS agreed to sign my actual date of getting the warning.
6. I had Appeal Hearing Meeting regarding this warning, where I have presented new evidences that procedure was not respected accordingly, in front of DVP Anoma Manuel and HR Manager Amanda Maxwell. It was around one month ago. I haven’t got any reply on my appeal, although the legal dead line is 5 days, as written in Employee Regulations Manual (No 7 in above text).
Since I have not got the answer to my appeal, this warning should be erased from my HR direct, but it is still there.
Ms Anoma Manuel is misusing her, almost unlimited, power to haunt me, bully me and scare me.
I am just a grade 4 staff and my hands are completely tightened. It is hard for me to my voice to even be heard, because my position is so much lower than Ms Anoma’s. I am tired and depressed of fighting for my voice to be heard. I am exhausted, and before I seek protection from my embassy or from some court of law (local or international), I have decided to ask you to stand in my protection, because I have no one other. I have left my whole life in my country, my parents, my friends and my job in order to come and work for Emirates. I have explained in this e-mail which parts of Employee Regulations Manual Ms Anoma has brutally violated and I have concrete proofs for all of them.
Please, help me. 
Sincerely yours,
Dragana
Screenshot (111)

The attempt of Emirates Airline to censor my blog

I’ve got an e-mail from WordPress.com (the publishing platform for this blog) today saying that an authorized person from the legal department in Emirates Airline made a complaint against my blog for violating DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act), requesting an immediate suspension of my blog contents.

WordPress replied that they consider the content of my blog as a fair usage of information for commenting and criticism and they’ve refused to suspend my blog contents.

Emirates Airline request from WordPress to suspend my blog

Emirates Airline request from WordPress to suspend my blog contents

 

Freedom of speech

Freedom of speech

Dear WordPress, in this world of hypocrisy, greediness, lack of humanity and harassment of individuals who dare to speak freely, I would like to thank you for supporting my freedom to speak and to criticise. Thank you, also, for your awareness of the fact that the Internet is the last shelter from the censorship and the global control of the information flow. You play a huge role in defending individual freedoms and better tomorrows. All the best to you!

Wordpress's e-mail notifying me that they will not suspend my blog at this time since they consider the usage of the information on my blog as a fair play

WordPress’s e-mail notifying me that they will not suspend blog contents since they consider the usage of the information as a fair play


Disease of Emirates Airline

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.

Screenshot (67)

Message of Mr. Rory Jones, journalist of the Wall Street Journal, who never called me again after my consent to give him an interview.

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.

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E-mail of Mr. Walter Riggans, new DVP EKAS.

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.