View Full Version : FRTR PXing
10th May 2012, 23:06
What are your thoughts regarding positioning on the freighter?
What are your thoughts regarding what REALLY will happen if most pilots do NOT consent to positioning on the freighter?
My experience is that signing something which APPEARS to be more beneficial than detrimental comes back to bite me later.
10th May 2012, 23:33
Anyone foolish enough to sign anything as crazy as a blank, irrevocable "consent" form with no contract/clauses/conditions/agreement, is asking for and will surely endure the inevitable unintended consequences they will forever be subjected to.
11th May 2012, 00:06
Really simple, don't sign.
This is a unilaterally offered variation to your contract. Think about that - a unilaterally offered variation to your contract. When has that ever ended well in dealings with CX management?
It's really simple, don't sign.
Notice that the letter is not applicable to Canadian & Australian on-shore crew. Why is that? probably because these sort of unilateral offers of variation are illegal in those jurisdictions.
We can't keep letting them think that they can get away with contract abuse when it suits them.
I know that freighter positioning is convenient for some crew, especially Nth American based crews, but our convenience has NEVER been a factor in their decision making. They do things for 1 reason and 1 reason only - it saves them money, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it.
We need to make a stand here people. Ignore their silly little threats in the letter. If EVERYBODY refuses, then what will they do? Maybe they might play hard ball for a while, but it saves them lots of money, so pretty quickly, they will have to come to the table with a negotiated offer, which will hopefully be more balanced, and might have something in it for us.
Now, let's look at the letter itself.
I really love the wording that GMA uses. Anyone employed by CX can of course read it, so I won't repeat it here, just my thoughts on what they are really trying to say.
Translation of paragraph 1 & 2: To try & cut a few corners, and save on hotels & allowances, we've been positioning guys on the freighter contrary to their COS. We started out doing it when it might have suited some crew, but when no one complained, we started doing it regularly, and are now shocked that anyone questions our actions. (Sounds like a case of perceived "acquiescence".)
He then goes on in an attachment trying to justify their ongoing breaches of our COS. Here's one little gem justifying freighter positioning:
No Company passenger services on he sector/s for which Crew Positioning is required
Really? So, when they call a crew member on reserve to position to Delhi for a subsequent freighter duty, why do they try to get you to travel on the freighter when there is a CX passenger service at the same time? Their "excuse" of the passenger flight being full is irrelevant to matters. Offload a passenger - it's known as "the cost of doing business". The truth is that crew control see it as a "freighter duty", therefore their logic says you should position on the freighter. When crew feel intimidated and don't say "NO", then that just adds to the company's boldness.
Now, read further on to the "GO-FORWARD" section. This, once again, in typical CX fashion, is a one-way street, in a blatant attempt to intimidate crews into signing with thinly veiled threats. If you don't agree to freighter positioning, they may ask you to do a 1-off freighter positioning, which you can agree for that duty only, however, if you submit a swap which involves freighter positioning, it will be denied.
So, let me get this straight Phil, I can't come to you with a request for a 1-off freighter positioning (via a swap), but you can come to me with the same request? And when they ask me for the 1-off freighter positioning, will the request be 100% threat & intimidation free?
Like I said, a one way street.
11th May 2012, 00:23
I personally have little interest in being a passenger on a large number of forgeign airlines.
11th May 2012, 00:42
give full credit for positioning on the freighter and we'll all be happy.................
11th May 2012, 01:21
No, full credit will not make everyone happy. It's a violation of our COS that requires J-class PX on company aircraft. PX is also abused beyond belief to save the company a lot of money at great inconvenience and discomfort to pilots. If all you have ever done is a quick PX to your home base, or a 1-hour PX to go rescue a stranded aircraft, then you do not understand what is going on with the freighter fleet - which will soon include the 777.
There won't be much if any PT on crazy foreign carriers. CX and KA fly to almost everywhere in the Asian region that the freighter goes where PX is used, such as stopovers to EUR including DEL, BOM, DXB, as well as long duties that need extra crew (ICN, HAN, DAC, PEN, etc.) where patterns can be modified anyway. The only reason PX is used in all of those cases is because it is cheaper (50% credit/no hotel/no allowance/more free O- and free R-day availability, not occupying a revenue J-class seat, etc.) and it is more convenient for the company - not because it is required or necessary.
Within EUR and NAM, the airlines used are fine. International flights require J-class (as far as I know) as do domestic flights more than 3 hours (only in US/Canada). Anyone can handle 1-2.5 hours in Y class, with just 0.5-1.5 hrs of cruise time anyway. So what?
ANC is the big exception. So what? Change the mentality: All they have to do is operate more crew from NAM into ANC (3-man operating crew from JFK/MIA/LAX/etc.) which means 8% less credit (2-man 15% more than scheduled/actual, 3-man 7% more) vs. PX 65% less credit (!!) and 2 hours of in-flight/in-bunk rest in the middle of the night. So what? And they can operate 4-man crews to/from HKG with 7% less credit (vs. PX 57% less credit), and good in-flight/in-bunk rest, if they need more people going to/from ANC - which they don't. They just like the cheap overmanning of a/c to prevent overtime, and free reserve at ANC and free HKG EXBs. Same applies to India and DXB and everywhere.
As for guys getting to/from ANC to/from NAM, or anywhere, so what? Now you will operate with over 100% more credit than you currently get (that's more than double the credit), get plenty of in-flight rest, and though this may add a day to your pattern some of the time, it also reduces your R, EXB, O and A days by the same amount, and you're not killing yourself with 20- and 30-hour duties (or more?) on board the aircraft.
And while PX cannot be changed to PD, PT tickets can: You simply tell CC to change a crappy routing/timing into the one you want to the airport you prefer, usually at no cost to you, but even if you have to top up the cost a bit to go where you want more conveniently, so what? You'd be paying that anyway to go home from the CX base anyway after a PX, in most cases.
No freighter PX means better patterns and more efficient rostering, not worse. In some isolated cases now and then, it will mean an extra few hours of travel or a night in a hotel with allowances to obtain proper rest between duties rather than driving the body into the grave with ridiculously long duties. So what?
Is this "consent" even being considered by anyone? Seriously....signing an open-ended, one-way, irrevocable, unknown waiver of whatever the company chooses to waive/include/dismiss/change/re-interpret is just crazy, specially when you take 1 second to consider who are you are making a deal with.
11th May 2012, 01:33
By not signing, we are all telling the company to abide by our COS. This individual intimidation has to stop, do not fall for this, do not be intimidated, grow a set and do NOTHING!!!!
11th May 2012, 01:41
Great post skillet and on the money (sic) as I see it.
Rostering will always use the lowest cost option, it is their mandate, and the lowest cost option in all cases is to operate you to the port.
ANC is no different, you will operate on a 4 man crew if necessary on lower credit factor.
11th May 2012, 04:00
Fantastic post Iron Skillet!
DO NOT SIGN
11th May 2012, 04:04
100% right Iron S.
Just Say No!
Why the f*ck should any of us do anything to help these pricks out?
Have our salaries kept up with inflation? Is the company trying do the cheap on housing? Has the company screwed up basings? Is the company employing inexperienced muppets? Has the company compensated us for retirement at 65? Does the company give a shit about rostering us so poorly?
11th May 2012, 04:33
Iron Skillet, you mentioned reduced credit on flights which will have more crew but you fail to mention that more crewmembers will get more credit in their rosters. In other words, CX will need more pilots to crew the roster and the pilots who operate these sectors rather than PX will now get more credit (albeit at the slight reduction in credit for the other guys) than they get now. I think that's a win for the pilot group, as a whole.
Therefore, do not sign anything.
11th May 2012, 04:59
Positioning crew home on a freighter after a duty should not be mixed up with, or used to rationalize, positioning crew on a freighter prior to operating a sector.
Anyone on the 744 who has had to endure a long two-sectors of positioning on a freighter to Penang or Hanoi (through SIN or CGK), 10 hours long, prior to operating the third sector back to HKG, to end a fifteen hour day, will know first hand, how debilitating and fatiguing that is.
To position someone for 10 hours in the back of a freighter and expect them to be suitably rested to operate the third sector back to HKG is to ignore the reality of fatigue. What's more, it is a travesty that the third sector is counted as a first sector as far as the flight duty day is concerned (as if the first two debilitating sectors did not exist!).
Positioning crew on a freighter, to operate a duty within the same duty pattern, should only be be done via a direct flight on passenger aircraft. If done on a freighter, then full crew rest in a hotel is the only way a crew would be fit and rested to operate.
Table For 1
11th May 2012, 07:18
Please see me asap; it is clear from your latest missive that you have failed to complete your training with regard to 'threatening and harassment' of employees. Roster too busy?
11th May 2012, 08:45
You can only PX with your own company on the GD. If you position with KA then that is PT (ticketed) like a normal passenger and you require a visa like a normal passenger. Enjoy filling up you passport.
11th May 2012, 09:10
Then just like every other airline in the world that does similar freighter flying (UPS, FEDEX, DHL, Cargolux, Southern Air, Emirates, Air France, Eva, etc.) they can make arrangements, issue air tickets, book hotel rooms, provide car services and organize visas.
It's not rocket science.
11th May 2012, 09:33
I believe the reason that AUS/CAN where not included is that they are both in the middle of Enterprise Agrement negotiations, the company cannot impose anything or ask for anything outside the scope of the negotiations as this could be construed as bad faith in a process described as good faith bargaining.
11th May 2012, 10:37
How can anyone sign up for this when crew accommodation on the 777 freighter has yet to be detailed?
11th May 2012, 13:33
As Sizematters says, full credit plus fit the freighters with proper club seating!
What an arrogant letter, full of threats and open disdain.
Does he seriously think this is a good strategy? Tool.
11th May 2012, 14:59
Say NO as it has to lead to more productive rostering!
11th May 2012, 15:48
Cargolux does - for the most part - PX their crews on their own freighters. In some rather rare circumstances, they will provide full business class ticket (which allows access to the business lounges, etc.).
As this is rather expensive, the crews are likely to stay a few more days longer in the hotels while waiting for the next freighter to come trough. (Admittedly, these are very good hotels, several levels up from CX hotels). Either way, a hotel is not home - and it gets old very quickly.
Therefore, the average trip is very long compared to CX. A 10 day trip would be considered short. It is more like 14+ days on average. So one should be careful, what to wish for.
On the other hand, Cargolux (or any other Airline, that I know of) does NOT roster its pilots to perform 18+ hour duties, by regularly appending PX sectors, immediately following an operating sector.
Personally, that is where my problem lies with PX ing.
I really don't mind in the least to PX on a freighter - I actually even prefer it, but I don't want to be stuck on an airplane for more than 18 hours, regardless whether it is operating or otherwise. It is just not healthy.
So far, I have not seen the AOA addressing any of this.....still hopefully waiting.
11th May 2012, 17:02
The question is why do we have to PX so much? Answer, the bases are not crewed properly. A PX or PT is 0 productivity gain for the company. It shouldn't be in their interest to PT or PX us on the scale they are doing it. Open the Basings bid again and offer vacancies where they are needed.
I agree do not sign the consent form. The abuse has to stop. Operating a 11 hour flight and then staying for another 10 - 15 hours on the same aircraft is just not healthy.
11th May 2012, 17:48
Hands up those who have been 'Rostered' to PX the likes of MAN-FRA-DXB-HKG-Min rest-PX MAA- RP MAA-FRA-PX MAN and then think that this is acceptable. This is an extremely debilitating pattern and is quite common. For those on the 777 the life style change/fatique issues coming your way you cannot comprehend until you have experienced them.
While I would occasionally be OK PXing on the Freighter a unilateral Yes or No I believe has to be voted as a NO.:ugh:
Therefore, the average trip is very long compared to CX. A 10 day trip would be considered short. It is more like 14+ days on average. So one should be careful, what to wish for.
Do you really think they have the crew to do this? They can threaten all they want but the roster would simply fall apart soon after they implemented any of their threats.
11th May 2012, 20:53
And as for manning on bases, the whole operation would work just fine and be simpler to roster if there was just 1 base where all a/c pass though for every single pattern: HKG. Every flight can be manned from HKG to the "base" and back, just as it is done in reverse now for based pilots. There is no argument for "manning" bases "properly" because no level is required. It is just a compromise that some benefit from, particularly the company, while most don't.
Regardless of someone's wishes and preferences, bases complicate the rosters, deny most seniority-based roster requests, and simply are not necessary. They exist, and will continue to exist, as long as they save the company money while allowing the operation to continue the way the company wants. With 100% of a/c flowing through HKG, there is only 1 location where it is most practical and flexible to have all the pilots, not dispersed around the globe to suit 1 or 2 possible routes.
As for the long patterns, many would love to have Fedex/UPS/Cargolux-style 14 day patterns follwed by 17 days off in a row. Those who don't could simply stick with the dozens of 2-3 day-long options. There's enough for everyone to be happy...most of the time.
11th May 2012, 22:20
Those of you that sign the letter will continue to enjoy the DAK-HAN PX to operate HAN-HKG while I take Dragon Air directly to HAN to operate the short flight back. Max FDP for one, less than half for the other.
BTW, I can also get off the freighter and get on the Dragon Air back to HKG too.
12th May 2012, 07:01
Don't sign unless you absolutely rely on PXing on the freighter. There are some spectacular examples of roster abuse regularly practised by CC that make our eyes water. You find yourself in the car park to drive home after a rostered duty of 28 hours plus. I'm surprised the law allows it - let alone the medics!
12th May 2012, 07:13
How can we complain and go to court over the company ignoring our COS when it suits them if we are allowing ourselves to ignore our COS when it suits us?
If nobody consents to this PX thing, then everyone will get more credit and more overtime and therefore more days off and/or more money. WTF is wrong with everyone?
How about if some of us sign consent forms to consent to the company COS waiving issues regarding seniority? "I personally might/will (temporarily) benefit (or so I think) if I waive the requirement to wait for my seniority to entitle me to an upgrade/pay rise/leave choice/roster request/basing/joker/etc."
WTF? If we don't respect what's in our COS, why would we expect the company to?
If we want a change to our COS (or RPs, housing, anything) then we need to negotiate away something in their favour to get it....like we have naively done all the time, and usually ended up suffering the unexpected consequences they had up their sleeves.
If the company wants a change to our COS, they just send consent forms (if any) without negotiating anything in our favour in exchange...and some crew consent/submit/give in/accept. WTF? :ugh:
12th May 2012, 07:39
You have made many brilliant points. Well done. Everyone - if in doubt, go back to the beginning of this thread and read all of I S's points. DO NOT SIGN. Also - how about the 'normality' of writing in the letter that it applies to about 20 different Conditions of Service!! Wannabes beware!
12th May 2012, 12:53
It's quite simple CX...
1) Fit the freighters with current long haul business class seating/IFE.
2) Fit the bunks with IFE.
3) Give full credit for px'ing.
4) Give us the facility to take our partners/companions with us on those ridiculously long freighter patterns like other freighter operators!
5) Approach the AOA with the above and then allow the membership to vote on your proposal.
THEN, you'll probably get your revenue-generating business class seats back!!!
12th May 2012, 14:58
maybe 50 guys will sign. They will all be people with a commute and an expectation that they can tweak the system.
the reality is that they will be screwed. Many people will not sign anything without a clear benefit. In addition there is a sizable minority who will sign nothing because they are required to actually do something.
So Cathay ends up with 50(or 60 or?) guys who want to PX 168 hours a month on the freighter. Those guys will end up with some interesting rosters!
You would have to be stupid to sign this.
12th May 2012, 15:31
Fortunately Cathay relies on the fact the vast majority of guys are too cowardly or stupid and will sign it.
12th May 2012, 17:12
No, they won't. This one is just too ridiculous.
At worst, a few guys will rack up plenty of frequent flier miles from PT instead of PX, and take the family somewhere.
And they will find that when PX can't be used to keep them on fake R and EXB days, or make them "work" more due to receiving 100% credit for non-PX flights, and more credit for longer PT flights, they will end up going to work less and being home more, too. Why else would you think the company wants guys agreeing to PX on freighters...because it helps the guys out??? Seriously, come on! :ugh:
12th May 2012, 18:30
Read the AOA special update. It says it all really. If you sign, you are a ... well, let's just say 'less than smart.' :ok:
13th May 2012, 00:51
Iron Skillet, since all except Canada and Australia ARE technically on individual contracts (albeit a contract designed and discussed between the company and the AOA) each pilot DOES have the right to modify his or her individual contract.
True, that does nothing for solidarity, but, when have you seen solidarity accomplish anything around here?
Private Pile, I like your idea. A win-win!
13th May 2012, 02:33
Sure, you can take care of just yourself, cause you're all right, without sticking together to get something first. Did you forget that whole contract compliance threat hanging over the company not too long ago, because we stuck together?
Since they want something from you (consent form) then have they or you schedule your negotiations to find out what they are offering you in return for altering your COS?
Or you can just give away what little leverage you have to maintain the status quo, with no written agreement as to what will happen, how it will happen, what it will mean and how it will affect you when the situation (a/c, routes, basings, FTLs, RPs, etc.) changes in the future?
Come on, man...you'd be a fool to give in at the first offer in any "sale" of what you have that they want...specially when you are interested in just giving it away. Short term thinking, with short term memories, it seems...:ugh:
13th May 2012, 22:01
Consider this before signing.
The AOA and the company come to an agreement on this, let just for arguments sake say full credit for PX.
BUT then CX claims it doesn't apply to the guys who already agreed to PXing on the freighter, they signed an agreement. So now you are still stuck with .5 factor for PX while the rest will have 1 to 1.
How would you feel then.
It might not be credit factor, it could be anything else, but surely you can imagine CX saying it only applies to whoever didn't agree in the first place
14th May 2012, 02:37
This option is not for just the next 3 months (like opting for a super compact roster)
Sign this consent form & you are ALL IN.....Forever!
If you're a US Based FO and PX'ing on the Freighter suits you today, you will not be able to change your mind when you return to HK for your command.
You are altering your CoS permanently.
The amount of PX'ing for HKG based crews is rediculous.
This is not PX'ing to get you home, this is 9hrs PX'ing to operate the last sector!
This effects us all.
No one knows how the 777F is going to be utilised yet.
(or what accom for crew will be on the 777F)
Cider is correct. Be careful what you wish for.
14th May 2012, 08:19
Remember back when CX offered DEC and had to offer everyone early freighter commands?
They miscalculated the level of interest and there were WAY too many people who wanted to do it.
They then resorted to threats such as consider your lifestyle and how much pxing it will involve... etc etc etc.
In the end, NO ONE BLINKED, everyone saw through MGMT bullsh!t and no one withdrew their bids for freight command.
NO ONE here will sign away rights to their COS with NOTHING in return.
This new GMA is a total amature and will probably be replaced soon.
14th May 2012, 23:33
Guys wouldn't have 12-day patterns if they were not PXing on the freighter. But, with so many sectors per month at 50% credit, they are available for much more flying before hitting their 84th credit hour.
If nobody would PX, everyone would work less and therefore get paid more for the same amount of work. WTF is so hard to understand? :ugh:
And guys would be rostered to operate to their home base, not PT. As it is, the company is scheduling an extra 20 pilots to work each day just to avoid paying even 1 guy some overtime. That's easy with so many flying at 50% credit. But with nobody at 50% credit, the rosters will get more efficient (less work days/less flights for the same pay), more rewarding for the pilots (more pay for same flights), or generate more overtime (more pay for more flights) and obviously, if earning double or more than double the credit (100%/107%/115% vs. 50%) for 2 or 5 or 8 sectors per month, pilots will have more days off. Why do you think the company loves freighter PXing? WTF is so hard to understand? :ugh:
We know there are plenty of pilots (certain bases/fleets/conditions combinations) who rarely come near 84 credit hours per month, and they would have to start taking on some of the load left behind by those no longer working at 50% credit while remaining below 84 credit hours. Why do you think the company loves freighter PXing? WTF is so hard to understand? :ugh:
15th May 2012, 01:21
That's a lot of head banging... But I agree with what you wrote.