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QR EK And EY: Staff Mistreatment Issues  
User currently offlineyowza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4906 posts, RR: 15
Posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 17154 times:

We've all heard nightmare stories from foreign pilots and FAs working in the Gulf:
- constructive dismissal with no recourse
- fire first ask questions later style management
- 24 hours to leave the country action.

Now it looks as if the International Transport Workers’ Federation is now making this an issue at ICAO. I wonder what prompted this interest and indeed if any competing carriers have helped nudge this agenda along. I must confess I had never even heard of the organization before and I doubt it will have a huge impact - at least right now - but you have to wonder if there are any long term implications to this getting the spotlight.

http://ecoclub.com/headlines/members/902-130925-itf-qatar-uae-aviation

YOWza


12A whenever possible.
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2480 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 16725 times:

Haven't heard of ITWF either, but considering the popularity of the ME3 with pax from developed nations, it is beyond time to expose the sometimes abhorrent employment practices in these countries.


oh boy!!!
User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1799 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16492 times:

I know this isn't airline workers, but certainly goes to show the terrible plight of foreign workers in the ME:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24282713

The Guardian reported Nepalese workers in Qatar "face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery".

Tournament organisers says the Qatari government will study the allegations, while Fifa says it is "very concerned".

A Qatari statement read: "There is no excuse for any worker in Qatar to be treated in this manner."

The Guardian investigation claims:

-At least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August because of heart-related issues or workplace accidents
-That there is some evidence of forced labour on a major World Cup infrastructure project
-Nepalese men have not been paid for months, with salaries retained and passports confiscated to limit their movements
-Access to free drinking water on construction sites has been denied on some occasions


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16467 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 2):
Tournament organisers says the Qatari government will study the allegations, while Fifa says it is "very concerned".

You can always trust Qatar and FIFA to do the right and honest thing 



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineSpeedbored From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2013, 368 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 16393 times:

Let's not get too carried away with pointing the finger at the Middle East. Many of the worst labour related abuses in the world are caused by the rampant desire those of us in the 'western' world have for cheap consumer products, and the huge corporations that supply them. And we should not pretend that labour abuses do not occur in our own countries, either - they do.

Whether we like how the ME airlines treat their employees or not, at least they make it clear to those employees how they will be treated, by writing it into their contracts. It's up to the employee whether or not they then accept employment under those terms.


User currently offlinePanAm747LHR From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 16259 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 4):
Whether we like how the ME airlines treat their employees or not, at least they make it clear to those employees how they will be treated, by writing it into their contracts. It's up to the employee whether or not they then accept employment under those terms.

That is absolute rubbish. I worked for EK for two years, and nothing was in my contract that even gave the slightest clue as to how poor management behaved. Nothing in my contract said "these are the GCAA rules which we will ignore if it is convenient for us," or "this is the absence policy, which will apply to some but not others," or "your seniority will be totally ignored when bidding, as trips are assigned randomly, favouring those who are buddy-buddy with someone in scheduling," or "your manager will never be available for you to speak to, you will always need to go through their secretary, who will also be hard to contact and hang up on you if they don't like what you have to say." And that's the tip of the iceberg.

In short, you are absolutely wrong. The poor treatment is not at all written into the contracts, and 99% of the time the employees don't know what they're getting into until it's too late. Don't make assumptions like that unless you've actually been in such a situation.


User currently offlineyowza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4906 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 16164 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 4):

Let's not get too carried away with pointing the finger at the Middle East. Many of the worst labour related abuses in the world are caused by the rampant desire those of us in the 'western' world have for cheap consumer products, and the huge corporations that supply them. And we should not pretend that labour abuses do not occur in our own countries, either - they do.

I don't think anyone is claiming for one second that the west is free of actions that cause suffering to others but the systemic nature of these issues in the GCC is a problem and the fact that the governments continue to turn a blind eye is a problem.

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 4):
Whether we like how the ME airlines treat their employees or not, at least they make it clear to those employees how they will be treated, by writing it into their contracts.

Well you could argue that they don't actually make things clear as another poster has done. I should also point out that it is not that uncommon for a contract signed to be torn up and a new one issued upon landing in the gulf. This has happened to three people I know. None of those three were at EY, QR, or EK but as I said it's a systemic issue in the GCC and this does happen. The plight of laborers in particular is deplorable that's why it makes me very sad when flying ex DOH or DXB to KTM/SAH/CGK/CMB to see FAs be not very pleasant to the laborers.

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineAIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2527 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 16158 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 4):
Let's not get too carried away with pointing the finger at the Middle East. Many of the worst labour related abuses in the world are caused by the rampant desire those of us in the 'western' world have for cheap consumer products, and the huge corporations that supply them. And we should not pretend that labour abuses do not occur in our own countries, either - they do.

GCC countries mistreating foreign workers is nothing new. You have to see how they treat asian nannies there. It is just beyong imagination. A few years ago, all nannies staged a strike in Kuwait after a few of them died in mysterious conditions. Working conditions are not great at EK, EY or QR but hey people are voting with their money. The same goes with FR here is Europe. By wanting everything cheap we are pulling quality, customer service and workers conditions to the ground. That's why I have elected not to fly EK, EY, QR or FR.



Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
User currently offlinetexdravid From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1364 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 16041 times:

The arrogant and slave owner mentality of the UAE and the middle east countries in general to immigrant laborers is horrible. These poor and often uneducated laborers, cooks and maids and domestics are treated like human chattel under the hot sun by the sheiks who run the countries.

Sure, I would in theory like to fly Emirates and Qatar, but do not do so because of principle and rather fly LH or BA.

But you know, the people ultimately responsible are the countries that these laborers come from. For example, if India treated its citizens better or had more opportunities, they would not have to leave for the middle east.



Tort reform now. Throw lawyers in jail later.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 16004 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 4):

Let's not get too carried away with pointing the finger at the Middle East.

There's no comparison. Sure there are problems the world 'round, but in the EU and US, there are laws against this kind of behavior (that are actually remotely enforced), as well as NGOs, unions, and a free press, little of which is allowed in the Gulf.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3672 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 15980 times:

Quoting yowza (Reply 6):
Well you could argue that they don't actually make things clear as another poster has done. I should also point out that it is not that uncommon for a contract signed to be torn up and a new one issued upon landing in the gulf. This has happened to three people I know. None of those three were at EY, QR, or EK but as I said it's a systemic issue in the GCC and this does happen. The plight of laborers in particular is deplorable that's why it makes me very sad when flying ex DOH or DXB to KTM/SAH/CGK/CMB to see FAs be not very pleasant to the laborers.

We just have to accept that no matter how much wealth these nations have accumulated and how many shiny buildings they have built, they are still working under a tribal/caste system which is not what most westerners are used to. If you are part of the foreign labor, whether an Asian or a Westerner, your presence in those countries is merely tolerated because, lets face it, someone will have to do the jobs required to have any sort of an advanced economy. As soon as you are not needed anymore, you have hours to pack up and get your butt out of the country, no questions asked, no protection from any laws.

The caste system in place as well as the education level and the different expectations of different labor nationalities will decide whether you end up in a fancy apartment or a labor slum. It is not uncommon to see, for example, SE Asian workers getting out of an area as soon as a local or a Westerner approach. Not very different to Apartheid conditions. I know a lot of people, including family members, that have chosen to live and work there and they fail to see what is really happening behind all those scenes of the good life, riches and glamorous surroundings.

Some places like Qatar are much more conservative but even in places like Dubai, labor issues are not that much different. A very interesting clip from Vice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMh-vlQwrmU

[Edited 2013-09-26 09:38:46]

User currently offlineyowza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4906 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 15821 times:

Quoting lewis (Reply 10):
We just have to accept

That's the thing Lewis. We don't have to accept anything. The more public this becomes the less palatable it will be for westerners to vacation there etc. Anyways let's keep this on topic.

This is getting quite a bit of traction and has made the HuffPo
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...s-marriage-pregnant_n_3989346.html


YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 12, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 15787 times:

Quoting yowza (Reply 11):
This is getting quite a bit of traction and has made the HuffPo

“If you did not have unions you wouldn't have this jobless problem in the Western world," Al Baker told the paper."

Ugh. Yes, the Gulf is famous for its hardworking locals .



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinedirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1697 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 13027 times:

Knowing people who work for various Gulf airlines, the consensus is that QR is the worst to work for. Apparently cabin crew live in crew accommodation and must clock in and clock out ith an access card, and there is a curfew. With other airlines, if you aren't wearing our airline uniform, you are free to live your life.
The Gulf in general does not have laws that benefit or protect expats, even they're white collar westerners. It's not just those within the airline industry or Asian labourers who are negatively impacted.


User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1283 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days ago) and read 12544 times:

I think we must separate a few things here. Indian-nepalese construction workers in Qatar etc isnt the same as airline employees. Airline employees are treated like kings and queens compared to the construction workers or for that sake maids.

However, if you come in believing seniority is what should determine who gets to fly what route and that seniority even is important for management youre in for a rude awakening. To be honest that means you havent done the homework. These airlines arent set up like that, one of the reasons they are profitable too.

But yeah you get treated like a number, perform, smile and collect your paycheck. good paycheck too. Some can handle that while others cant, i believe its more the mind. if you know and mentally prepare and see it as a good paycheck you are fine. if you expect it to be like in Europe or the USA youre in for a tough time.
But with that hmm taxrate, that paycheck people have the choice to accept the way the employment conditions are or to leave.
I must say that at EK and EY the conditions are good enough. QR suffers from pretty bad management though and there its a matter of hand in the resignation when overseas just in case...



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlineSN535 From Belgium, joined Feb 2005, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10070 times:

Quoting yowza (Reply 6):
or "your seniority will be totally ignored when bidding, as trips are assigned randomly, favouring those who are buddy-buddy with someone in scheduling,"

I think this is the case at most if not all airlines. Back in my days at Sabena, I remember that some would always receive the best destinations almost every month while others always got the lesser flights (if you can call it like that).

On topic: this is a situation that is valid for all other industries besides aviation. I'm no longer working in aviation and wroked for a number of different companies, and experienced the same thing over and over again though it is happening more in some companies than others...


User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3672 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8015 times:

Quoting yowza (Reply 11):

That's the thing Lewis. We don't have to accept anything. The more public this becomes the less palatable it will be for westerners to vacation there etc. Anyways let's keep this on topic.

We do not have to accept it but let's face it, the people who choose to vacation there, live there or do business with those places do indirectly accept that. I do not, hence why I haven't done any of the above. I can accept its existence though, it is not my place to change it, I can only limit my involvement with that system.


User currently offlineyowza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4906 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (1 year 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 7331 times:

Quoting lewis (Reply 16):
I can accept its existence though, it is not my place to change it, I can only limit my involvement with that system.

I'm in the same boat as you mate. I've turned down two gigs in the GCC with similar reasoning. Off topic but if you look at the whats going on with construction in Qatar it's sad. Something like one Nepalese national dies every day on a construction site from hearts attacks and other strains from extreme hardship. Though I am Canadian I am of Nepalese descent and when I see how these folks are treated it puts a lump in my throat. Interestingly the original piece cited up top is still slowly making the rounds.

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12565 posts, RR: 35
Reply 18, posted (1 year 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 7063 times:

The Russian stance on gay right will become a major factor in influencing attitudes to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, so why can't the same be done in relation to the World Cup in Qatar.

If major sports stars and clubs - and particularly the EU nations - started focusing major attention on this, you can be pretty sure that attitudes would change; these people don't like the glare of publicity.


User currently offlineflyingj From Jordan, joined Jan 2011, 1 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6484 times:

Not that I am a big fan of the GCC, but in all fairness many of the bad practices that happen there, happen under the watchful eyes of the so called 'Western Democracies'. One does not need to be living there to support what is going on there. You support it merely by supporting the big corporations that are committing these atrocities over there. Those are the same companies one buys their coffee from in North America, or do their grocery shopping at in Europe etc...

Another thing to keep in mind is that those are the same companies that are committing the same bad practices in Europe. Only difference is that it happens further away from many people in a way they can turn a blind eye to it. The difference in places like Dubai or Doha is that it happens within the same city, whereas in Europe it would be happening out in Bangladesh, the Mediterranean Sea etc...

Its is becoming increasingly difficult to boycott these companies with ill practices. If one lives in Europe today, there is a big chance that without knowing it they support many of the gulf countries while flying the likes of Air Berlin, or staying at one of the GCC owned hotels in a European CIty.


User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6459 times:
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A friend of mine who is crew with EK said to me (half) tongue-in-cheek one day:

"Did you know that Emirates is actually an acronym?

(E)ngish-(M)anaged, (I)ndian-(R)un, (A)ll (T)he (E)xpats (S)uffer."

He said it was more than accurate!  


User currently offlinebobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6517 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5992 times:

Quoting yowza (Thread starter):
- constructive dismissal with no recourse

Please explain what "constructive dismissal" means


User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5923 times:

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 20):
"Did you know that Emirates is actually an acronym?

(E)ngish-(M)anaged, (I)ndian-(R)un, (A)ll (T)he (E)xpats (S)uffer."

  There are several versions. For example English Managed, Indian Run, Arabs Taking Enormous Salaries  

Though if Expats are suffering as much as is claimed, why is there always a steady supply of them?


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5895 times:

You couldn't pay me to go to the UAE or its neighbours, let alone fly on their airlines.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineyowza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4906 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5646 times:

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 21):
Please explain what "constructive dismissal" means

My apologies, I thought the term was fairly universal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_dismissal

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
25 pnwtraveler : For a portion of the F/A who fly for the carriers the working conditions are much better for better money than they might face in their home countries
26 klwright69 : This is absolutely correct. Even white collar westerners can be mistreated in Gulf Countries in employment. To say that everything is really spelled
27 tonystan : I'm ex Qatar but from a long time back when the airline was relatively new and well before it had the name or indeed the exposure it has now. I can te
28 Post contains links Viscount724 : Recent article on mistreatment of immigrant workers in Qatar working on the various infrastructure projects for the 2022 World Cup to be held there. h
29 sankaps : Conditions for labour are terrible in those parts of the world, and in many other large developing countries. In fact conditions back home for these
30 Post contains links DTW2HYD : QR,EY,EK cabin crew should join AI. Here is the latest story about working conditions in India. Air India's air hostesses and stewards operating the D
31 Post contains images q120 : Westerners who decide to go work in these regions think that these places are "utopias" where money is infinite and life will be so grand, and sure it
32 Post contains links lucce : Here we go: EK Cabin Crew Rest And Safety On Long Haul (by Airbus1 Oct 27 2007 in Civil Aviation) I appreciate the article is old but EK still orders
33 DTW2HYD : What kind of rest EK crew get for a 11 hour flight. One would assume below rest is enough for AI cabin crew to Australia. 24-hour rest period before
34 Post contains links LXLucien : Right now there are some articles on aerotelegraph (swiss/german site)... http://www.aerotelegraph.com/qatar-a...ugen-kritik-bewilligung-bei-heirat Ar
35 kaitak : I heard of a recent case where a Croatian pilot and an F/A (nationality not stated) went to the CEO to request permission to get married (as is requir
36 Post contains links and images qantas077 : ever wondered why they target 3rd world countries for the cabin crew jobs?? and have you ever wondered why they're constantly recruiting? friend of m
37 DTW2HYD : They have assigned Y seats, they want J seats. Apparently 18xJ seats are taken by rev passengers on most of the flights. Cabin crew is not happy abou
38 qantas077 : I said nothing of the sort..best you go back and reread the entire thread!
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