Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
caleb1
Topic Author
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:51 am

UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:42 pm

Just curious as to the outcome of the Hong Kong based United flight attendants who were fired for insubordination after refusing to work on an aircraft with suspicious graffiti written near the APU. Did these FAs ever get their jobs back, or does the ruling to fire them still stand?
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:16 am

Why would they get their jobs back?
 
dash400
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:01 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:30 am

They were ALL senior to me, and I haven't seen any movement in my seniority , so I would assume no. They are still out. I have almost 16 years at UA inflight....they were all 18 years seniority or more.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26604
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:11 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 1):

Why would they get their jobs back?

Because their termination was illegal?
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 15796
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:51 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 3):
Quoting IPFreely (Reply 1):
Why would they get their jobs back?
Because their termination was illegal?

Doesn't a labor judge have to determine that first?
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:54 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 4):
Doesn't a labor judge have to determine that first?

At most companies, employees can make a choice if they want to do their job or not. If they choose to not do their job, the employer has the option to fire them, and find better employees who will do the job. The weren't being tasked to rob a bank, they were only tasked to do the job they were employed to do. They made their choice and the company did what it had to do to operate a business. Nothing illegal about it.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3279
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:11 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 5):
At most companies, employees can make a choice if they want to do their job or not. If they choose to not do their job, the employer has the option to fire them, and find better employees who will do the job. The weren't being tasked to rob a bank, they were only tasked to do the job they were employed to do. They made their choice and the company did what it had to do to operate a business. Nothing illegal about it.

Wrong. An employer cannot ask an employee to pretake in unsafe behavior. The FA believed that the aircraft was unsafe -- ultimately, a court will hear their case and rule whether or not their actions were justified.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:29 am

Quoting compensateme (Reply 6):
Wrong. An employer cannot ask an employee to pretake in unsafe behavior.

Sorry but you are of course 100% wrong. The flight was obviously safe. And that determination is not up to the FA's. If it was, every lazy FA out there would cry "unsafe" and refuse to do their job whenever they wanted, hoping for some nutty court to protect their laziness. A business cannot operate in this environment. They made their choice and they were justifiably fired. Maybe they will be smarter at their next job.
 
User avatar
jetblastdubai
Posts: 1993
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:23 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:47 am

Quoting compensateme (Reply 6):
An employer cannot ask an employee to pretake in unsafe behavior. The FA believed that the aircraft was unsafe

Didn't the Pilot-In-Command and UAL ground staff on site determine that it was safe after a visual inspection? It is, after all, their responsibility to make that determination. (not a judge or a jury)

[Edited 2016-01-14 22:06:08]
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3279
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:57 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
Sorry but you are of course 100% wrong. The flight was obviously safe.

You're dead wrong and whether or not the flight was safe is not for you to decide -- that's the decision of a judge and/or jury who've been presented with all of the facts.

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 8):
Didn't the Pilot-In-Command and UAL ground staff on site determine that it was safe after a visual inspection? It is, after all, their responsibility to make that determination.

I don't know what the legal precedent is. When I was 15, I was fired for refusing to clean up human body fluids that appeared to have recently dried. The head of the store's "safety council" agreed with the manager that there was no safety risk in touching dried blood; that was her job but of course I knew this to be total BS and had a legit concern. [Illegal on many fronts, but that's not the point, nor did I pursue it since menial jobs were plentiful.]

[Edited 2016-01-14 22:08:25]
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
AngMoh
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:03 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:57 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
Sorry but you are of course 100% wrong. The flight was obviously safe. And that determination is not up to the FA's. If it was, every lazy FA out there would cry "unsafe" and refuse to do their job whenever they wanted, hoping for some nutty court to protect their laziness. A business cannot operate in this environment. They made their choice and they were justifiably fired. Maybe they will be smarter at their next job.

It is very difficult to dispute a safety related call by an employee. You can not claim that a safety observation is frivolous unless it has been thoroughly investigated and proven to be frivolous. If an employee makes a safety claim for a reason they believe to be valid, then they have a right to refuse to do work regardless if their manager agrees with it or not. This is a fundamental aspect of health and safety legislation. It does not matter if the complaint was valid or not. It is the company's obligation to investigate and if required implement necessary steps to rectify the situation. Just brushing off a safety complaint is not allowed by law - it must be investigated. In my company, all employees are required to refuse to perform their duties if they personally consider it unsafe until changes have been made which make it safe and you as an employee accept that it is safe.

If these employees were Hong Kong based, then they fall under Hong Kong law which is based on British law and it would be virtually impossible to fire them for a safety related issue brought up which was ignored by the company.

I think the FAs went over the top, but they had the legal right to do what they did. The only way they could be fired is if they personally scribbled the message on the aircraft and then used that as an excuse to refuse to work.
727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739/ER 742 743 744/M 752 753 762 772 77E 773 77W 788 A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A359 A35K A388 DC-9 DC-10 MD11 MD81 MD82 MD87 F70 ERJ145 E170 E175 E190 E195 ATR72 Q400 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 BAE146 RJ85
 
User avatar
ssteve
Posts: 1435
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:32 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:08 am

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 10):
In my company, all employees are required to refuse to perform their duties if they personally consider it unsafe until changes have been made which make it safe and you as an employee accept that it is safe.

One would assume that employees are expected to use their particular expertise to make this determination, not gut feelings. It would perhaps be better to state that all employees are required to refuse if they have made a logical determination that safety is impaired. Plenty of arguments to be made as to which side of logical the FAs here fell on, but it's not like you should be arguing that an FA's nightmares, horoscope, or consultations with soothsayers should be sufficient reason to "consider it unsafe." There's a slippery slope either way... do the FA's get to argue the weather is too inclement? Do they never get to report suspicious behavior?
 
AngMoh
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:03 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:35 am

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 11):
One would assume that employees are expected to use their particular expertise to make this determination, not gut feelings.

It is indeed the case. But the problem is what one person thinks is unsafe is something others have no problem with. It is often very subjective.

But the fundamental basis of any safety culture is that people can bring up safety related issues without fear of reprisal if it is found that their concern is invalid (or if it is valid, that it will have expensive consequences).

If you start firing people for "baseless" safety complaints, then the whole safety culture falls apart because serious issues are also not reported. But on the other hand, when you are in an environment where there is a poor relationship between the company and its employees (and UA under Smisek definitely falls under that category) then safety is used as a tool by unhappy employees to "get back" to the company.
727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739/ER 742 743 744/M 752 753 762 772 77E 773 77W 788 A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A359 A35K A388 DC-9 DC-10 MD11 MD81 MD82 MD87 F70 ERJ145 E170 E175 E190 E195 ATR72 Q400 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 BAE146 RJ85
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4366
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:52 am

If the pilot and mechanics determine the airplane was fit to fly, that should be the deciding factor on whether or not the airline was within their bounds.

If I tell my boss that I feel my truck may be unsafe, and he gets a mechanic to inspect it, and the mechanic determines there is nothing wrong with it, and I refuse to drive it anyway because my own untrained opinion is that it is still unsafe. I think my boss has every right to say, well sorry if the mechanic said it's safe and you refuse to accept a professional, trained source on the subject, you are welcome to work elsewhere.

It's a dangerous slope to go down to give every employee equal weight in the decision tree of determining airworthiness and security. There's a reason we all have different training and skills. The F/A's know more about their job than the pilots, the pilots know more about how to fly the airplane than the mechanics do, but the mechanics know more about what is airworthy and what is not over the pilots. The fuelers know more about loading fuel than the caterers do.

We all have our own responsibilities and we need to trust the other workgroups on their expertise. If I'm afraid to fly on a plane and the pilot and mechanic assure me it's safe, it's my risk to deny flying on it after a certificates professional has indicated it is safe. It would be completely different if the mechanic said the plane was not safe, but the company insisted the flight crew board anyway.
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9524
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:35 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
Sorry but you are of course 100% wrong.

Can you site the Hong Kong law that agrees with you?

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
The flight was obviously safe.

That's easy to say after the fact, without being told to get on a plane NOW that you feared may not be safe.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
And that determination is not up to the FA's.

In the moment, it is. Now it's up to a judge.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
If it was, every lazy FA out there would cry "unsafe" and refuse to do their job whenever they wanted, hoping for some nutty court to protect their laziness.

Nice attitude.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
A business cannot operate in this environment.

They do every day, around the world, safely.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
They made their choice and they were justifiably fired.

Proof that they were fired? Proof that it was justified if so?

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
Maybe they will be smarter at their next job.

I'll keep my snarky reply to myself.

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 13):
If I tell my boss that I feel my truck may be unsafe, and he gets a mechanic to inspect it, and the mechanic determines there is nothing wrong with it, and I refuse to drive it anyway because my own untrained opinion is that it is still unsafe. I think my boss has every right to say, well sorry if the mechanic said it's safe and you refuse to accept a professional, trained source on the subject, you are welcome to work elsewhere.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but what if you feel the truck is unsafe because someone wrote "You are going to die today" on the side? You complain, so the boss sends a mechanic out and he determines that the graffiti is of no concern. Would you still feel justified in being fired?

I only say that because I'm not sure a pilot or station manager is particularly more qualified than an FA to say that threatening graffiti is safe or unsafe. They are just using their best judgment like the FA's are. Ultimately, it'll be up to a judge I guess.

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
migair54
Posts: 2452
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:24 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:41 am

I'll be surprise if any court fail in favor of the crew, with all my respect to them but theyre just cabin crew and if the engineer sign off the plane for the flight and the Pilots accept it that's the end of the story.

Another case is if they have some issue with "their business", catering, drinks, pax, emergency equipment, then I think they could have made a case, but not in this situation.

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 13):
We all have our own responsibilities and we need to trust the other workgroups on their expertise.

That's the clue, the same they have to trust tsa to check the pax, they have to trust the technical team that says the plane is safe to fly.
In this case it was something visible but the plane can have plenty of defects, actually the plane can be dispatched under deferred MEL and I am pretty sure Cabin crew are most of the time not even informed.
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9524
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:04 am

Quoting migair54 (Reply 15):
In this case it was something visible

That's the primary reason why I'd leave the door open to a positive outcome for them. It's just more grey (or is it gray  ).

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8630
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:16 am

The Captain makes the decision whether it's safe to operate, period, he did so.


End of subject.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9524
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:28 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
End of subject.

So they were terminated?

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
boilerla
Posts: 421
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:30 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:44 am

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 14):
I'm not trying to be argumentative, but what if you feel the truck is unsafe because someone wrote "You are going to die today" on the side? You complain, so the boss sends a mechanic out and he determines that the graffiti is of no concern. Would you still feel justified in being fired?

I only say that because I'm not sure a pilot or station manager is particularly more qualified than an FA to say that threatening graffiti is safe or unsafe. They are just using their best judgment like the FA's are. Ultimately, it'll be up to a judge I guess.

You're implying that the UA mechanics, pilots and ground staff all JUST looked at the graffiti and used that as their sole determination.

In the scenario above, if somebody spray paints "You're going to die today" on my truck, and I get a mechanic to look at it, and the mechanic says the truck is fine--then my boss has every right to tell me I gotta drive the truck today or be fired. If the boss man just ased somebody to look at the graffiti, sure I have cause to sue when I'm fired. But we have no reason to believe that's the case here.

And let's play devil's advocate here--what was the FA's end game here? Mechanics and pilots say it's ok, but they refuse to fly. So what, that 744 has to be scrapped? Can never fly again?
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9524
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:03 am

Quoting boilerla (Reply 19):
You're implying that the UA mechanics, pilots and ground staff all JUST looked at the graffiti and used that as their sole determination.

No, I have no idea to what extent they went to before determining it was safe. My point was that perhaps the threat wasn't "mechanical" but that was the criteria they were using to determine the safety of the flight (vs the airplane).

Quoting boilerla (Reply 19):
But we have no reason to believe that's the case here.

So you don't know?

Quoting boilerla (Reply 19):
what was the FA's end game here?

I have no reason to believe that they were innocent little angels, but I have no reason to believe that they weren't legitimately concerned. Having said that, I don't really care either. I'm more concerned with the broader implication that if someone has what they believe to be a legitimate reason to feel unsafe to board an airplane, then there should at a minimum be an opportunity for them to make their case before being terminated - not that they should get a free pass.

I have someone close who's a flight attendant and has been for decades. She has had a number of occasions where what she deemed unsafe was different than what the airline or pilot deemed unsafe, and they usually over-ruled her. After going through a few nasty cabin decompressions and other questionable (to her) stuff (I'm keeping it very generic), she has on at least one occasion refused to fly, forcing them to bring in a new crew. She wasn't fired - she was, of course, investigated and probably admonished, but isn't that why you have unions - to protect you when you feel you are being put at risk?

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
Andy33
Posts: 2570
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:17 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
The Captain makes the decision whether it's safe to operate, period, he did so.
End of subject.

Bit of an oversimplification, to say the least. The Captain can certainly make the decision that it is not safe to operate, and that decision will stick unless and until the airline replaces him/her with another captain who will operate the flight, or whatever caused the original captain to make the decision changes.

But there are quite a number of people who can say it is unsafe to operate a particular aircraft even when the Captain thinks otherwise, and their opinion will override the Captain. If the civil aviation authorities in the country where the plane is waiting to take off, or in the country of registration, ground the plane for safety reasons, it is grounded, period.
Then in this case if the local security authorities thought the graffiti message meant there was a bomb on board, and wanted to search the plane from end to end, while the Captain may disagree, he/she simply isn't going to get takeoff clearance until the search happens. Now there was no bomb and no refusal of clearance, so the Captain's view was correct.
 
AVFCdownunder
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:12 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:51 am

This story is new to me, what did the graffiti say?
 
Lufthansa
Posts: 2639
Joined: Thu May 20, 1999 6:04 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:18 am

Let's not forget the big thing here - with modern airport security at an airport like HKG -

HOW THE HELL did somebody spray paint that on the side of a 747 up near the APU!

that means some serious security breaches had occurred. It's not unreasonable given whoever
did this would have needed stairs/ a cherry picker etc to be even able to reach that area to
spray paint it and that wasn't noticed by airport security.... that they have some serious questions
about the integrity of the aircraft in question.

This wasn't an airframe in the desert in storage. This was in a modern hub which is suppose to be
among the most advanced in the world. Unauthorised equipment up against the side of a 747 shouldn't be
something nobody notices.
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9602
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:19 am

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 13):
If I tell my boss that I feel my truck may be unsafe, and he gets a mechanic to inspect it, and the mechanic determines there is nothing wrong with it, and I refuse to drive it anyway because my own untrained opinion is that it is still unsafe. I think my boss has every right to say, well sorry if the mechanic said it's safe and you refuse to accept a professional, trained source on the subject, you are welcome to work elsewhere.

I don't think that is a good comparison. I thought the flight attendants asked for the airplane to be thoroughly inspected, but the request was denied and they were told to fly anyway.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
bennett123
Posts: 10364
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:54 pm

How long would a thorough investigation have taken.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 15536
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:09 pm

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 10):

If these employees were Hong Kong based, then they fall under Hong Kong law which is based on British law and it would be virtually impossible to fire them for a safety related issue brought up which was ignored by the company.

In Hkg an employer may fire an employee at any time without need to provide justification as long as the prescribed notice period (typically 12 weeks) is paid.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):

Where I work the correct course of action would be for the CN to make a tech log entry for any abnormalities observed externally, and these to be investigated by the mechanics before being signed off and being released for flight.

If cabin crew raise a concern, I would write it up, and get it checked. That is our documented safety system.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
bjorn14
Posts: 3595
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:11 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:10 pm

Quoting AVFCdownunder (Reply 22):
This story is new to me, what did the graffiti say?

*Bye Bye* Apparently the FAs thought there was a bomb on the plane and it was going to blow it up in flight.

IIRC, the UA security team even brought out a bomb sniffing dog. The FAs still refused to and the flight to HKG was canceled.

[Edited 2016-01-15 05:14:43]
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
B737900ER
Posts: 1028
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:26 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:17 pm

Quoting AVFCdownunder (Reply 22):
This story is new to me, what did the graffiti say?

It was a smiley face with the words bye bye. It was inbound from ICN. You can put two and two together on that one.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 23):
HOW THE HELL did somebody spray paint that on the side of a 747 up near the APU!

Nobody spray painted anything. Some "artist" used his finger to write it in the grease on the cowl after he serviced the APU oil.

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 24):
I thought the flight attendants asked for the airplane to be thoroughly inspected, but the request was denied and they were told to fly anyway.

The aircraft was deplaned and a more intensive security search was performed. After three work groups, corporate security and the TSA deemed it safe they still refused to fly.

This isn't an issue of being punished for bringing up a legitimate safety concern. This was a revolt led by a lead FA who's pride wouldn't let her accept the fact that she may have overreacted.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3279
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:19 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 27):
IIRC, the UA security team even brought out a bomb sniffing dog. The FAs still refused to and the flight to HKG was canceled.
Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
The Captain makes the decision whether it's safe to operate, period, he did so.


End of subject.


Sorry, US law says you're not that special. If a FA has a legitimate safety concern but you still choose to operate the flight, they can justifiably refuse to perform the work under US law. In this case, we don't know all the facts. The FA claim the situation was treated like a hoax and no full sweep was performed.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
badgerguy
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 4:21 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:31 pm

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):

I guess you'll never get your question answered..

[Edited 2016-01-15 07:32:22]
 
777ord
Posts: 681
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:04 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:41 pm

I have no idea if they were fired... I do know they are on a leave pending investigation.

What most fail to agree to is the FA's still continued to refuse to do their job after a full inspection deemed it safe and ok to go. They also acted out, disobeyed direct orders. So, I have little sympathy... I would fully understand their claim IF they actually found something. But it was some punk scribbling in the exhaust dirt....
 
AngMoh
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:03 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:53 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 26):
In Hkg an employer may fire an employee at any time without need to provide justification as long as the prescribed notice period (typically 12 weeks) is paid.

If it is the same as Singapore (and I think it is similar), then firing people for this reason is problematic even if you can terminate employment by paying a normal notice period. And by the way, you need to pay additional compensation linked to the employment duration of that specific employee which can become expensive. The problem is that you abuse the system to terminate an employee who brings up a safety issue. That gets you in trouble with occupation health and safety regulations because you are seen as abusing the system.
727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739/ER 742 743 744/M 752 753 762 772 77E 773 77W 788 A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A359 A35K A388 DC-9 DC-10 MD11 MD81 MD82 MD87 F70 ERJ145 E170 E175 E190 E195 ATR72 Q400 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 BAE146 RJ85
 
sxf24
Posts: 1012
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:08 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 29):
Sorry, US law says you're not that special. If a FA has a legitimate safety concern but you still choose to operate the flight, they can justifiably refuse to perform the work under US law. In this case, we don't know all the facts. The FA claim the situation was treated like a hoax and no full sweep was performed.

There is no such US law.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3279
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:13 pm

Quoting 777ord (Reply 31):
What most fail to agree to is the FA's still continued to refuse to do their job after a full inspection deemed it safe and ok to go. They also acted out, disobeyed direct orders. So, I have little sympathy... I would fully understand their claim IF they actually found something. But it was some punk scribbling in the exhaust dirt....


The FA claim the situation was treated as a hoax, and only a half-ass, limited investigation took place; you're indirectly accusing them of lying by claiming a full investigation took place. Do you think THIRTEEN FA fabricated such story? If a co-worker threatened you and you were not 100% certain he was joking, then discussed the situation with your boss who -- without talking to the person -- said 'I'm sure he's just joking,' would you feel comfortable? But I like your approach -- the FA are witches, but if they got on the plane and it blew up, then you'd have sympathy for them!
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3279
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:15 pm

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 33):

There is no such US law.


Bull spit.

https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/refuse.html
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
alfa164
Posts: 3772
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:47 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:25 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 6):
Wrong. An employer cannot ask an employee to pretake in unsafe behavior. The FA believed that the aircraft was unsafe -- ultimately, a court will hear their case and rule whether or not their actions were justified.

   The company can ask an employee to participate in unsafe behavior... but they can gbet in a lot of trouble for that. And should get in a lot of trouble for that.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
Sorry but you are of course 100% wrong. The flight was obviously safe.

So, you must have been there. Tell us what you saw that made it obvious that the plane was safe.

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 8):
Didn't the Pilot-In-Command and UAL ground staff on site determine that it was safe after a visual inspection?

If I recall correctly - and correct me if I am wrong - it was the pilot who first expressed concern about the flight. That was what raised the issue in the first place.

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 10):
It is very difficult to dispute a safety related call by an employee. You can not claim that a safety observation is frivolous unless it has been thoroughly investigated and proven to be frivolous. If an employee makes a safety claim for a reason they believe to be valid, then they have a right to refuse to do work regardless if their manager agrees with it or not.

     

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 23):
Let's not forget the big thing here - with modern airport security at an airport like HKG - HOW THE HELL did somebody spray paint that on the side of a 747 up near the APU! that means some serious security breaches had occurred. It's not unreasonable given whoever did this would have needed stairs/ a cherry picker etc to be even able to reach that area to spray paint it and that wasn't noticed by airport security.... that they have some serious questions about the integrity of the aircraft in question.

      Whether the disturbing image and writing occurred in HKG or at the previous stopover (ICN, I believe), someone had access to the aircraft. Whether he/she was trying to be funny - or making a threat - could not have been known by the crew.

That person should be the one being reprimanded - severely.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 20):
I have no reason to believe that they were innocent little angels, but I have no reason to believe that they weren't legitimately concerned. Having said that, I don't really care either. I'm more concerned with the broader implication that if someone has what they believe to be a legitimate reason to feel unsafe to board an airplane, then there should at a minimum be an opportunity for them to make their case before being terminated - not that they should get a free pass.

         Very well said!
I'm going to have a smokin' hot body again!
I have decided to be cremated....
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4366
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:29 pm

At what point is it reasonable to accept that the airplane is safe to fly? How many pilots, mechanics, security teams, etc need to look at the plane.

I think the company was completely justified. They can't force you to do something you don't want to do, and the other option is termination of you are asking for an unreasonable amount of assurance that the plane is safe.

Were the F/A's demanding a D check with Boeing engineers and FBI and CIA officials standing by watching every part of the process??

You have to be reasonable. You say it's unsafe, the pilot, mechanics, and security team tell you that in their expert opinions, there is no safety concern. You have to trust them. Aviation is 100% about trust, and if you can't trust your fellow professionals, you need to leave the game.
 
AR385
Posts: 6936
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:48 pm

Quoting dash400 (Reply 2):
They are still out. I have almost 16 years at UA inflight....they were all 18 years seniority or more.

The way I read the story when it happened was that initially it was 2 or 3 FAs who were concerned and they discussed it with the other FAs until some sort of mob mentality took over, along with some mild hysteria and then all the FAs ended up demanding, first, the "threat" be checked out, and then, refusing to fly.

I assume that the genius who finger-drew the face on the engine is not the first one, EVER, to have that type of stupid prank occur to him. And I also assume that in all the previous 18 years of work of these FAs, this was not the FIRST and ONLY time these FAs had seen something similar.

So what is it that it made this particular instance so threatening and scary that they took that course of action? I believe the original concern was there, but it was addressed properly. By then it was too late, though, and the issue in reality turned into one of egos, mob mindset and a "us vs. them" attitude in the parties involved.

The outcome was inevitable, methinks.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3279
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:50 pm

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 37):
At what point is it reasonable to accept that the airplane is safe to fly? How many pilots, mechanics, security teams, etc need to look at the plane.

I think the company was completely justified. They can't force you to do something you don't want to do, and the other option is termination of you are asking for an unreasonable amount of assurance that the plane is safe.

Were the F/A's demanding a D check with Boeing engineers and FBI and CIA officials standing by watching every part of the process??

You have to be reasonable. You say it's unsafe, the pilot, mechanics, and security team tell you that in their expert opinions, there is no safety concern. You have to trust them. Aviation is 100% about trust, and if you can't trust your fellow professionals, you need to leave the game.

Again, the FA claim the situation was treated as a hoax and only a limited sweep of the aircraft took place. What evidence exists that these 13 FA are lying and a full sweep did indeed take place?

Kinda reminds me of what's going on in NYC, where a group of teens have been tried & convicted by the media and public and now indications are their accuser is being less than truthful.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
User avatar
DarkSnowyNight
Posts: 2740
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:59 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:58 pm

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 36):

That person should be the one being reprimanded - severely.

No doubt! Somewhere out there, someone has a hell of a story to tell... Only they never ever can.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 34):
Do you think THIRTEEN FA fabricated such story?

They might as well have. None had any real evidence of an issue beyond hearsay. And while this is a sticky situation for UA any way this shakes out, it's certainly not inconceivable that all 13 FAs got carried away and adopted a mob mentality about the issue.

Again, three different professional work groups cleared the plane. Unless there's a lot more to the story here, that firing is a good shoot.
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
B737900ER
Posts: 1028
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:26 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:58 pm

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 36):
Whether the disturbing image and writing occurred in HKG or at the previous stopover (ICN, I believe), someone had access to the aircraft. Whether he/she was trying to be funny - or making a threat - could not have been known by the crew.

That person should be the one being reprimanded - severely.

You would have to create an entire department with thousands of employees to police aircraft graffiti. Lots of people have access to the aircraft. So what. The hysteria generated by this particular piece of graffiti is mind boggling. If crews regularly reacted to half of the graffiti on their aircraft like this the airline would grind to a halt
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5054
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:09 pm

Good thing you guys don't work in Safety. Every single person that works at an airline has the right to stop an operation for safety and the ability to refuse unsafe conditions. If the airline doesn't allow this they have a terrible safety culture.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3279
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:11 pm

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 40):
They might as well have. None had any real evidence of an issue beyond hearsay. And while this is a sticky situation for UA any way this shakes out, it's certainly not inconceivable that all 13 FAs got carried away and adopted a mob mentality about the issue.Again, three different professional work groups cleared the plane. Unless there's a lot more to the story here, that firing is a good shoot.

The only hearsay are people like you repeating the company's claims that the plane was fully inspected. Again, the FA claim the area around the graffiti was inspected because the pilots, maintenance and operations believe it was a hoax. BTW, the company has never denied this, just insisted that the inspections were satisfactory. But that will be for a court to decide.

http://skift.com/2015/01/11/fired-fl...nited-airlines-over-safety-threat/
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
sixtyseven
Posts: 829
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:42 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:19 pm

In Canada the right to refuse dangerous work is real, and it comes up from time to time.

Operating into a war zone (TLV at times), a disaster area (Japan after the nuclear event) were all example of times when pilots and flight attendants were able to exercise their rights to refuse the work.

The company will try it's best to forecast these troubles and release memos ahead of time about what they know of the risk, and the opportunity to drop the flying and opt for reassignment. It eases the logistical effort that would exist if people just showed up and walked off the job.

Even still that can happen. It is rare, and of course a whole crew walking would certainly not only raise eyebrows but cause some difficulty to the operation.

The Captain is in charge and represents the company while the aircraft is in operation. When it is not in operation the person must liase with Company officials to determine whether the person is to continue or may be removed from whatever the area of concern is. In Canada this would be the crux of the argument. If the plane hadnt moved, then the Captain likely was no going to have power in this situation. A manager would likely have to make the judgement.

Without knowing all the facts it sounds fishy. I know at my company if this situation would occur the manager would likely do what was required to ease the concerns of the FAs to the point they felt safe.

Of course this is Canada, I dont pretend to know US Laws but I'm pretty sure if you armed all the FA's with assault rifles there'd be zero problems.

[Edited 2016-01-15 09:27:25]  Yeah sure

[Edited 2016-01-15 09:28:13]
Stand-by for new ATIS message......
 
N1120A
Posts: 26604
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:46 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 4):
Doesn't a labor judge have to determine that first?

1) I wasn't giving my opinion, rather just pointing out why they would.

2) Depends on the law in Hong Kong.

3) If in California, whistleblower cases go to a real court.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
Sorry but you are of course 100% wrong.

And you know this how? You are actually incorrect.

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 28):
the TSA deemed it safe they still refused to fly.

The TSA? Since when do they operate in Hong Kong? Also, since when are they at all decent at anything other than performance theater?
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Toni_
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 8:56 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:50 pm

I haven't read a thing ever since so I reckon the FA's didn't get their jobs back. Although I do feel sorry for them, with this particular case I'm on UA's side.

After checking the apu engine compartment, and connecting the dots using expertised perspectives, the safe green light for departure was finally given. I'm all in for CRM in aviation, but for me the FA's didn't just undermine the decision of just one person, but those of the pilots, mx crew and security personnel. The line has to be drawn somewhere, and in my opinion they crossed it.

Quoting AVFCdownunder (Reply 22):
This story is new to me, what did the graffiti say?


The old thread:
Refusal To Fly By 13 United FAs Led To Firing (by olympic472 Jan 7 2015 in Civil Aviation)

Quoting compensateme (Reply 39):
Again, the FA claim the situation was treated as a hoax and only a limited sweep of the aircraft took place. What evidence exists that these 13 FA are lying and a full sweep did indeed take place?

But what if the parties involved didn't find it necessary to perform a full sweep? Just by judging the location of the graffiti and knowing the recent maintenance history, I probably would've called it a hoax rather quick too.
 
User avatar
DarkSnowyNight
Posts: 2740
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:59 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:03 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 45):

The TSA? Since when do they operate in Hong Kong? Also, since when are they at all decent at anything other than performance theater?

Why would they need to? This happened in SFO. In any case, TSA also work out on the ramp. They're more than what you see upstairs.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 43):

The only hearsay are people like you repeating the company's claims that the plane was fully inspected. Again, the FA claim the area around the graffiti was inspected because the pilots, maintenance and operations believe it was a hoax. BTW, the company has never denied this, just insisted that the inspections were satisfactory.

So in essence what you're saying is that it's a lot more likely that one employee group, that has no training or experience with the affected area knows more than the three that do. Got it.

Your link is an editorial. That's great and all but it didn't bring any new information to the discussion.
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
DTWPurserBoy
Posts: 2374
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:33 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:11 pm

I am curious if the HKG f/a's were Americans on the UA seniority list or if they are citizens of HKG and not covered under existing contract.

Our Asian-based f/a's are not on our seniority list. The Pacific division has their own seniority list and if they are terminated they stay terminated. I can only think of one instance where one was fired for sleeping on the job that got his position back through family contacts.

Even if you are covered by a union contract while they will provide you with legal defense, it can take years to go through appeals and arbitration. I cannot think of any instance where a terminated f/a was reinstated with back pay, vacation and sick leave accruals. Generally, they were just glad to be back.

As has been said if the captain determines that the aircraft is safe to fly and management gives you a direct order to take the flight it is blatant insubordination to walk off anyway. There are four things that will get you terminated in a heartbeat--insubordination, sleeping when not on an assigned break, theft and fighting. Everything else is up for discussion.

[Edited 2016-01-15 10:19:43]
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
bennett123
Posts: 10364
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:35 pm

If the plane sits on the tarmac while the plane is fully screened, and they time out.

Do the crew get paid.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos