Freight DogsFinally a forum for those midnight prowler types who utilise the unglamorous parts of airports that many of us never get to see. Freight Dogs is for pilots and crew who operate mostly without SLF.
Fellow pilots, I want to warn you about a nasty situation developing at Jade Cargo that is making the place a lousy airline to work for. This is not a sour grapes post, but just a heads up alert.
IF YOU HAVE OTHER OPTIONS, DO NOT COME TO WORK FOR JADE CARGO!!
Firstly, pilots from all ranks of PIC, PICC, and FOs are leaving in a mass exodus because work conditions are getting bad. Time off is too short, schedules are the most unstable I have ever experienced, the flying is scheduled for extremely long duty periods, there is a big clash between Chinese and Western cultures, taxes and banking are extremely difficult to deal with and pilots are on 70% pay for months (6-8 months is not unusual) before they get checked out. Chinese medicals are INSANE. Not because they are astronaut physicals like in Japan, but because the doctors do not know what anything outside textbook norm looks like on EKGs, EEGs, treadmill, heart rate and so on.
Secondly, a new CEO has taken over and expectations were as high as they could be for a group of freight dogs working in China. He has had a couple of meetings with the crew and promises change, but other than a few minor corrections we have not seen the blue skies and tailwinds. The company is supposedly managed by Lufthansa but that is nowhere apparent. Chinese are running amok all over the airline like a swarm of fire ants.
I am an FO at the airline and it is absolutely a dead end situation with no upgrade possible. The pilots have heard at several pilot meetings upgrades would be happening but that is all smoke and mirrors, especially for FOs. The VP of Flight Ops has appointed a Chinese pilot who believes he is the CAAC itself into the position as head of training. This guy has virtually blocked any qualified FOs from making the transition. Cruise Captains are only slightly better off. The guys are really bitching about the PICC position being even worse than FO for job satisfaction, but there might be a slight chance of upgrading. PICCs can expect to sign a 2 year training bond that obligates the pilot to pay a prorated portion of RMB 120,000 or about $18,500 back if they leave early. This is WAY more than the training costs the company.
The Chinese think they can overrule a signed contract with a so called briefing notice from management. Our DHD policy obligates the company to buy us a business class ticket on a passenger aircraft anytime the trip is longer than 4.5 hours. That excludes any travel in China or the Far East. The company now says it has the option to DHD pilots on company aircraft if there is a direct flight. The aircraft are bad enough with 4 pilots, usually a traveling Chinese mechanic and only 2 bunks and some low-grade “business” seats. Put a few more people on board with only 6 seats in the cabin and you get the picture.
Tax and banking issues are a perpetual nightmare. It is very hard to move money out of China unless you provide all sorts of tax documentation, work contracts, and other papers. The company keeps cutting our various allotments, claiming the tax situation has changed or we need all sorts of documentation proving we spent money on the things we are supposed to get reimbursed anyway. School payments for our children have become a real hassle to claim because of company requirements. Housing allowance is now only paid without being taxed if we get some sort of new official receipt. In short, it is not a very friendly environment.
It is hard to turn ANY job down in the current economy but I would give Jade a miss if I was not already working here and there were other jobs available. Good luck in whatever decision you reach. If I still have not convinced you to stay away, PM me and I will give you more details about the interview. Don’t say you were not forewarned…
GatlingGun, I've got a couple of questions for you. What is your motivation to write your post, especially now? What's your current status and relationship with management? You write that this is a developing situation, though all the points you've written are either present policy or have been revised for the better, are they not? Is the new management more approachable and progressive than the neanderthals, we've had in the past and are the resignations due to the new management or the previous management's practises and policies? Please quantify how the conditions are worsening than they were say 2 months ago, a year, 2 years........? Was there not a recent bulletin where the F/O upgrade training program has been submitted for CAAC approval and a progression finally defined in the last pilot meeting and an admission that all the previous managements lied about any F/O upgrade to PIC? Hasn't all PICC's who've submitted their upgrade request, been accepted and haven't most passed the requirements? Come on, this is China not the US and really, is 2 years that hard to commit for the upgrade? Where's your proof that it was the Chinese management pilot or was it the CAAC, who held up the only F/O upgrade submission? Has there not been a change on the DH policy for the better?
On a personal note, please tell me, who else was hiring when you applied? You mention Japan's medicals, is there any growth/progression in that country? I assume that you're from there, why don't you return or maybe to some 3rd rate US carrier? Have you ever made more money at any previous employer and if you leave, can you expect a higher wage? Is not a wage increase now in front of the Board of Directors? Seriously, your information is quite dated. No company is perfect, neither is Jade but there are alot worse companies to work for. Please stick to the facts and not your jaded (no pun) perspective.
Everything Gatling Gun say's with regards to Jade Cargos Terms and conditions is correct. Before I get shot down as a misinformed wannabee, I spent almost two years there and have several friends still there, or more correctly, in the process of leaving. The 5 or 6 colleagues I knew well, from a similar background as myself with a similar ability level have long since left for far better airlines, salaries and lifestyles. As a new joiner you have absolutely NO CONTROL over when you will get 'checked to the line' and start to receive your full salary. It may be 6 months 7 months or even 8 months, no one knows ! and with the training structure so disorganised and understaffed, you just have to wait and wait and wait. In my two years with the airline I never deadheaded in business class, although my contract stated that I should have done so on several occasions. Requests are usually met with excuses by the chief pilot who readily agrees that your entitled to it, but that if he authorises it " He may get into trouble !" I kid you not ! It is not difficult to get a better salary, far better lifestyle, and be treated with a little dignity and respect in any other airline. Jades pay does not make up for its deficiencies in almost every department, and in my opinion they would need to double it, or more, to make it an attractive option. Take heed of Gatling guns post above, it could save you a lot of frustrations, dissappointments and wasted effort. Or at least open your eyes to what your letting yourself in for.
Are you prima donnas forgetting that you're guests in an inefficient, still 3RD world, communist ruled country? Are you expecting Western styled privileges and entitlements? Are you expecting contractual legal rights? Do you think that you are something more than just a truck driver with wings? Fuggetabout it. Just get your -400 time, and then move on to where you think the grass is greener.
hi, i work at jade, the job is not without its problems as listed from the previous posts, the facts are that they pay well the aircraft is great to fly and the crews are a good bunch,my call is working long haul cargo in china will enherently have its problems,happy flying,keep the blue to the top.
Notwithstanding the Gucci, Cartier, Luis Vuitton ambiance off Nanjing Road. . . ever wonder why social internet networks like "Facebook", "You Tube", select portions of "Google" and "CNN" need to be blocked...? Next time you get off the 431kph German built Mag-Lev at Shanghai's glittering downtown Pudong station, venture west into the countryside. You won't need to go far before you see people riding on springless donkey carts.
That jogged the old brain cells a bit. A few years ago there was somebody using the name 'Hitman' who used to slag Jade Cargo something terrible. He then became a South African and continued the tirade. Smoke and Mirrors was one of the favourite expressions; maybe the same person.