View Full Version : Letter from a 49'r

15th Aug 2001, 08:35
Fellow professional pilots:

The International Federation of Allied Pilots Association (IFALPA) has placed a recruitment
ban on Cathay Pacific Airways. If you would be so kind as to spare me a few minutes
of your time, I would like to tell you a little about why that ban was put in place.

Between July 06 and July 12 of this year, Cathay Pacific "randomly" sacked 52 of
its aircrew. Hong Kong law states that no reason is required to sack an individual
if he is given sufficient notice or pay in lieu. I was one of those 52 and like
the others received absolutely no notice. The "random" dismissals included 5 out
of 20 Union committee members and 4 out of 7 negotiators. There was no link with
flying capability, as all had fine training records. Three of the sacked pilot's
spouses were pregnant. Most of the 52 have families and dependents to support.
One pilot was receiving cancer treatment and another treatment for a serious heart
condition at the time of his termination.

The dismissals were meant to send a strong signal to the union to back off of its
negotiation requests and industrial action. Ironically, it has had the opposite
effect. On July 09, 49 of the 52 pilots were fired, earning those in the entire
group the title of "49ers". The press release on July 09 was arrogantly entitled
"The way to end the pilot's dispute". Their objectives are not financial (reported
profits for the year 2000 was $640 million USD), but rather to crush the pilot's
union as they have done with every other union on company property. In the first
two weeks of the dispute, the company had lost more money on charters and forward
bookings than the entire value of the union's requests.

Some of the 49ers were called in the middle of the night and read a termination notice.
Others were away and their surprised spouses received the termination letter by
fax. One tried to enter the building only to find his employee card did not work.
I found out with a DHL package in my mailbox and have not heard from the company
since. However, they have advised the Hong Kong Revenue Department that we were
all leaving town on short notice (untrue of course) and we were all therefore presented
with a bill for 1 1/2 years worth of income tax due in less than a week. I have
yet to receive a dime from the company.

The dispute occurred due to repeated contract violations and pointless talks to resolve
discrimination and unstable rostering. There are currently 32 different contracts
for Cathay Pacific's 1500 pilots. B scale is the tip of the iceberg. If a pilot
of Chinese heritage applies overseas, he may be hired on a local package (worth approximately
half of an overseas expatriate package), because he has inherited the right to work
in Hong Kong from his parents. This is irrelevant of his experience level and whether
or not he speaks a word of Cantonese or has ever set foot in Hong Kong.

Rosters are almost comically unstable. It is not uncommon to be rostered for a short
haul flight or a simulator, only to be hauled out after sign-on to perform a 5 day
pattern of ultra long haul. The vast majority of flights do not go with the crew
they were rostered for. It is impossible to predict where you will be on any given
day of the month. One sacked pilot had only worked 2 rostered flights in the 4 months
preceding his termination.

I, as with all the 49ers, am now working full time for the union. We do not consider
ourselves "fallen", but instead, we consider ourselves "hostages" in an industrial
confrontation. Accordingly, all Cathay Pacific pilots are now wearing yellow ribbons
on their uniform to remind all of our predicament. Spouses, peers and friends have
also attached a yellow ribbon to their chest to remind the public.

Although I devoted most of my free time to the union prior to this dispute (I was
not credited for any union time by the company), all of the 49ers are now employees
of the union, devoted to a fair contract and rehire. It is this unions policy not
to sign any agreement which does not include full reinstatement of the 49ers.

IFALPA has instituted this ban so that others do not come to Cathay Pacific to fill
my position and the positions of the 51 others. It is important for your peers to
realize that a pilot may attend an interview, but would be permanently blackballed
by IFALPA for signing a contract or accepting any flying position with Cathay Pacific
Airways until this dispute is resolved and the ban lifted. Please forward on this
message to your fellow aviators.

Thank you for your time.

15th Aug 2001, 08:47
Just one question Herb, what are the other 1451 ers ( 1500-49) doing. I thought that if anything they should be the one's backing you and the other 48, because with labour laws like that they could be next!!

The Guvnor
15th Aug 2001, 10:55
Unfortunately, what you've described Herb is the reality of the lifestyle of the long haul expat pilot in the 21st century. The CX guys (at least the ones in the left hand seat; and expecially those on the 'A' scale) are extremely well paid - some would justifiably say overpaid - and I am given to understand that the amount of work is not excessive (so much so that many run businesses on the side).

IFALPA at the end of the day has no legal or other powers over any airline; and if individuals wish to exercise their human rights to work wherever they choose then so be it.

I'm sure that - as with all stories - there are two sides to this one. You claim that you along with 51 others were 'randomly' selected and 'summarily' dismissed. What is management's version of events? Having invested a huge amount of money in the training of you and your colleagues, I very much doubt that they simply woke up one morning and said "right, let's fire 52 guys simply because we can!"

If you think that life at CX is bad, perhaps you should try a stint at SQ! :D :rolleyes: :eek:

15th Aug 2001, 11:49
Condolences Herb, nobody likes to see their hard-earned position slide down the toilet as many of us have had happen to us...there must be some internal rational as to how the "49ers" were chosen, fair or not I think we all suspect it was a just a plain ole screwin'....but if you're looking to dissuade applicants from aplying at cx...it probably won't happen on the basis of being labled a scab by IFALPA.....I personally wouldn't apply just because of what happened to you..that in itself is enough to scare me off...and i'm sure, many others....many-many posts have not been answered as to the status of current cx pilots accepting command training...these folks should also refuse training...if they want applicants to respect their request to not seek employ at cx...hope your problem gets resolved asap, and all of you are back to work.....but some of the problems rostering etc, are experienced by many, if not most expat type operations...unfortunately cx appears to have lowered itself to the prevailing standard, as opposed to setting the standard, as it has in past years....best wishes and good luck.....

15th Aug 2001, 12:05
It is always very sad to hear of people being thrown out of work, we can all equate to what it may feel like and the damage it can cause to families and relationships, but if you were as you say connected with the union side you must have known that the law allowed your employer to act like Genghis Khan, if indeed you have been sinned against in this manner, why then have your 1449 pilot compatriate's not done something like a mass walkout or day of in-action to help with your cause, could it be that your ability in negotiations were not as skilled with your company as you all thought, and that your lack of ability has led to the ultimate sanction left open to the company, after all, highly trained pilots and crew are not available at the drop of a hat, perhaps you were asking for the impossible!

Busta Level
15th Aug 2001, 12:14
Terrible story. Good luck to you all Herb.

Nice to see the guvnor as sympathetic as always :mad: Just what people want to hear when they've been sacked. Good of you to leap in so quickly with those considerate words as well Guv....


Notso Fantastic
15th Aug 2001, 14:29
Just everybody be warned the Guvnor has stuck his ugly opinions in here to get people riled up. This person is some sort of failed airline manager who has pronounced anti-pilot opinions and voices them (look at the postings total) here at every opportunity. Totally ignore all Guvnor postings! Quite why these non-pilots want to spend so much time in a Pilots forum and express so many opinions is beyond me. It obviously shows a very sad life.

To the CX pilots- we watch and hope! Good luck to you!

15th Aug 2001, 15:02
Guv's just practicin' to get ready to mistreat his pilots....if his planes ever leave mojave...under their own power that is

15th Aug 2001, 15:24
100% AOA Herb.
They don't call it big wednesday for nuthin

16th Aug 2001, 11:46
I say, Herb old chap. Any chance of telling us who the International Federation of ALLIED Pilots Association is. Never heard of the Buggers before. Did you say that you work for the Union? :confused: :confused:

Eff Oh
16th Aug 2001, 20:14
Gov'...You are full of ****!!! Why dont you show some sympathy for a change, insted of winding EVERYONE up ALL THE TIME??? You are a sad, sad little man with nothing better to do. :mad: Even if these guys did deserve to be terminated (which I dont think they did), that was no way to go about it! A contract works BOTH WAYS with regards to notice!
To the CX guys...Hope everything works out in the end!
Eff Oh.

The Guvnor
16th Aug 2001, 20:33
Eff Oh - since you obviously have the management side of the story (or otherwise I assume you wouldn't have gone out on a limb here by saying that management effectively breached their contracts), would you mind posting it here? You see, I don't know that side of it ... which is why I am keen to find out what it is. :rolleyes: :eek: :rolleyes:

You've also obviously had many years of expat experience ... where, exactly? :D :eek: :D

The whole CX situation seems rather unusual - to say the least - and we're only getting half of the picture. My original post on this subject simply pointed out that before we get a case of foot-in-mouth it would be nice to get the whole picture. If the 49/52 people were indeed maltreated then I would be the first to support them. But given CX's current shortage of crews coupled with the huge amounts of money it takes to recruit, select and train top notch pilots, I really can't see why David Turnbull and his team would be willing to throw away millions of US dollars without very good cause indeed.

Capt Freo
16th Aug 2001, 20:47
The thing with the GuvNor is that he logs on to read all your replies to his inflammatory posts. ust ignore, make no reference to his posts, then he will go away. Remember what your Mum told you, ignore it and it will go away....

16th Aug 2001, 20:51
I tried to start a thread "Whats happening at CX", but it dissolved into a "slangin' match". What I would like to hear is some FACTS about what is happening. On the FH forum, CX pilots are told, "dont post here, use our internal BB". I'm sure that all of us ppruners would like some insight as to what is going on, at the moment it looks like "The dispute that never was", and for those thinking of joining CX (and please I am NOT one of them), but for those that are, the total lack of INFORMATION, as apart from "dont come here, IFALPA bans, you will be a s**B" type of stuff must really be confusing.Everyday we see CX aircraft, on the ground and in the air, all apparently "ops normal", so could someone from the AOA PLEASE fill us all in on just what the hell IS going on? Thanks

Pilot Barbie
16th Aug 2001, 21:49
Thanks for posting Herb, you have my support and best wishes. Being ex-CX, we have friends who were there from when it was an excellent company to work for (a few years ago now!) as well as friends who are more recent joiners.

Those of you who doubt the power of a black list might like to refer to some of those who scabbed for Eastern in the USA. It plagues their careers to this day.

Guvnor, when you are quite done blustering (unlikely) you might like to get a life. :rolleyes:

Good luck Herb and your 49ers. Let us know what happens. How many have signed?

[ 16 August 2001: Message edited by: Pilot Barbie ]

17th Aug 2001, 00:05
Why IS it, that we have more whinging and moaning from the CX guys, more than any other airline? Could it be that their mis-guided "action" has gone terribly wrong and now they look for sympathy from others?
Look in the mirror, CX guys, the enemy you see, is YOU.

17th Aug 2001, 04:15
411A, You're all mouth and trousers until it is your turn to answer a question. Oh, have you forgotten? or are you just a jealous, out of work, spiteful old mam who sits at home in USA behind the protection of Danny's team. Come on tell us who you work for if you've got a job and then we can talk about your attempts to run an airline.

17th Aug 2001, 04:39
I believe I told you before, but in case you have forgotten, a new airline with Lockheed TriStar aircraft that will operate in your neck of the woods (SE Asia), all charter flights. Aircraft have now been acquired, heavy maintenance will begin next month and crews will be recruited shortly. As for me, Chief Operating Officer.

17th Aug 2001, 05:03
Chief Operating Officer, instead of wasting your time and everyone else's with your usual boring drivel, why don't you spend a bit of your time getting an education? Try www.feer.com. (http://www.feer.com.) There is an excellent, balanced article on the woes of Cathay Pacific. Some of that style might even rub off on you, although I very much doubt it.

17th Aug 2001, 05:10
actually, we (pilots) shall all be grateful for such an unbiased, objective press article. After all the comments we suffer from all sides.
Thanks for posting the link! :D

17th Aug 2001, 05:16
Have read the newsitem before, and it would appear that the CX pilots simply are unable to accept the fact that EVERY airline in Asia is in the middle of a cost-cutting exercise. Cathay is no different. The gravy train is no more. CX pilots will just have to accept these facts or will always be bitter and frustrated. No amount of posturing by the AOA will change these circumstances.

17th Aug 2001, 05:20
OH! and BTW, one of the 49'ers, and his wife, are personal friends of mine who learned of his dismissal while on vacation with the 3 kids!


17th Aug 2001, 05:54
A Tristar operation in 2001. That ought to be hugely profitable. NOT!

17th Aug 2001, 06:21
I was parked next to a CX A340 the other day at Anchorage. The CX plane was flying to Toronto which I believe is a 6 hours flight. I read about all the whinging and bitching about CX being so short of pilots here on Pprune. If it is true, why did they roster 1 capt. and 2 Senior F/O's (3 full stripes on the shoulder) on a 6 hour flight? :confused:

17th Aug 2001, 07:07
Are you sure it was going to YYZ, and not on the way back to HKG?

If in fact it was going to YYZ with 3 crew, then one of them was obviously deadheading. There are often freighter guys paxing on that sector.

If however there were 3 crew activley involved in the operation, then the a/c was on the way back to HKG.

17th Aug 2001, 07:37
Whilst I have every sympathy with a group of pilots being treated in this manner,it does seem to me that none of you have taken on board the fact that you are all expats working for a foreign airline in a foreign country and in the same way as other Airlines such as SIA,Royal Brunei,Qatar,Saudia,Gulf Air,Emirates,Kuwait,Oman and now Cathay!!,these are all based in Authoritarian countries where you basically put up and shut up or leave. I cannot imagine any pilots in these companies mentioned thinking that they could get away with the action you guys have been taking these last few months.
From Cathay's point of view sacking 49\52 has worked wonders as Tony Tyler claims all chartered aircraft are being returned and nobody wants to NO 53 so I guess that no one is calling in sick now unless they are in the operating theatre!!
Welcome to the unpleasant world, and it gives me no satisfaction insaying this.

17th Aug 2001, 08:21
There comes a time when you either have to sh!t or get off the pot.
What must be understood is that there IS life after CX.

17th Aug 2001, 09:21
>>From Cathay's point of view sacking 49\52 has worked wonders as Tony Tyler claims all chartered aircraft are being returned and nobody wants to NO 53 so I guess that no one is calling in sick now unless they are in the operating theatre!!<<

Yep, it looks like it's all over but the shouting...

The time for direct pilot input has long gone it seems. As one of my friends there says, "the union has already been busted". Looks like the marches in uniform and tardy PR effort to portray the sacked as prominent local citizens involved in charitable works has has little effect.

I would love to be wrong on this one.

17th Aug 2001, 12:02
The opinions expressed above are extraodinary. Even as I write this the debacle that has become CX is rapidly worsening. Most flights are cancelled or are massively delayed. While I appreciate that you may have a certain closed-minded view, have any of you even read the Hong Kong press (which is biased towards CX) or the HKAOA press releases (which are biased towards the AOA)? Neither of these sources is so blase as some of the responses above; both report the numbers of delayed and cancelled flights which clearly show this industrial action is building.

You express certainty that is at such odds with the actual numbers of delayed and cancelled flights, and the empty seats of the ones still flying. Anyone believing you would think that CX was still flying a normal schedule, that there has been no industrial action whatsoever. If you know something pertinent then by all means say so; but if you don't know anything at all, and have made no efforts to find out, then making it up is merely going to make you look foolish.

BTW Airbubba, your comment "...tardy PR effort to portray the sacked as prominent local citizens involved in charitable works ..." belittles these men. They have truly spent much time and effort in this work; some of the children they have helped have been very special cases and something that most of us would find difficult to respond to without an inner sense of revulsion. (I tell it like it is, I don't intend any disrespect to any parent out there who is in this position). The amount donated, all by CX pilots, flight engineers and simulator instructors, is incredible. The honour recently awarded to the founder of this outstanding charity is pretty rare, and most deserved. I hope you amend your posting, it is undeserved criticism and repugnant.

[ 17 August 2001: Message edited by: Chris ]

The Guvnor
17th Aug 2001, 12:29
I've just read the Far East Economic Review article, and it makes a great deal of sense to me.

If you're running a company with high overheads and your competitors are lean and mean, one of two things have to happen. If you continue as you are, you'll go bust; and if you want to stay in business, you need to trim costs.

CX's pay scales (especially the A scale) were notorious for being the best in the business - in order to attract crews in the days when the expat lifestyle wasn't as normal as it is today. It was part of the Swire Group culture which has now all but disappeared post 1997.

According to the article, the crux of the problem seems to be the issue that has really crippled the industry - that of seniority. The union's position is that any contract crews have to join the seniority list at the bottom - regardless of their experience; and as it rightly says, this results in a lose:lose situation for both the company and the union with no end in sight.

Most people don't realise how low operating margins of airlines are.

Above all, it's a fight being waged against the backdrop of radically changing economics in the airline industry. Rapid growth in airline fleets in the 1990s--both in Asia and in the rest of the world--has turned the supply-and-demand equation on its head. Too many aircraft have knocked passenger yields and profit margins at the world's carriers ever lower--on average,
most commercial airlines squeak by with profit margins of just 2%-3% of revenues. But at the same time, the growth has also created a worldwide shortage of pilots, demanding higher pay even as the world economy slows. In North America, pilots' salaries have jumped at double-digit rates this year, just as the airlines brace for a sharp drop in demand.

My views on the insane pay demands by the likes of pilots working for LH, DL, UA, AA etc are well known - and whilst it is true that employment costs are only the second or third highest component of an airline's costs, that 2% gross margin can be wiped out very, very quickly with any minor change whether it's increased overheads in the form of pay or decreased revenues in the form of a reduction in the number of business passengers paying high yielding full fares.

On the other hand, the poor rostering and lack of crews has taken its toll on CX's pilots. But that's largely due to the unions demanding that the seniority system be retained - if that was scrapped, then putting in place the extra crews and producing workable rosters would be very straightforward.

As an outsider, I'd suggest the following solution:

1) Scrap the existing seniority system in favour of one where there's incremental pay increases based on time worked at the company.

2) Recruit additional pilots and slot them in based on their experience and expertise.

3) Limit reserve time to no more than one in four; with the reserve time being rostered a minimum of three months in advance - and increase reserve pay rates to 1:3 or 1:2.

It seems clear to me that both sides are currently at fault. The union for its usual Luddite attitude to change - especially regarding the seniority system; and management for treating their people poorly over the rostering/reserve issue.

As for the 49/52 - we still haven't heard both sides of that story. Were they the most militant people; those blocking possible progress and/or compromise? Or were they genuinely chosen at random? If so, why?

I suspect that this particular show is going to run and run... :rolleyes: :eek: :rolleyes:

17th Aug 2001, 13:16
Chris is right.Anyone who believes the confrontation is over is out of touch.

CX stands on the verge of becoming either the best place to work in the aviation business or a tombstone to human folly.

Indeed it is now at what might loosely be called the "Club Buggery" stage (after that well known Australian TV program).

The issues have become clouded by the emotion and lack of trust. It is fast getting to the stage where both sides would rather watch the place burn down than call the fire department.

Like an acrimonious divorce, it may well be too late but there are too many livelihoods at stake to give up without a renewed effort to re-open the channels of communication.

What is needed is two lists of 5 things each party wants.

Get a red pen and cross out the four things on each list that can wait till next week.

We then have one thing each that we want. If that bridge can't be crossed then the company deserves to go down the shanks.

Once we have one thing each, then the list is down to four. The degree of difficulty has been reduced by 20 percent.

As long as one side continues to be portrayed as a bunch of overpaid and pampered gweilos and the other side a bunch of upperclass pompous twits then all deserve to persh on the pyre of stupidity. (With respect to Phillip Chen and the great bunch of local pilots, the first group of whom are ironically, now just coming up for command training).

There is goodwill. It's the trust that's missing.

17th Aug 2001, 14:15
Agree that the FEER article is the most balanced report I have read on this issue.

My question to those in the know is:
How does the IFALPA ban on recruiting mere SO's help the AOAs position?

A new SO is not going to help management at all.... training alone will 3-4 months.

AOA will be successful (and surely wants CX to be successful) Surely the SOs you get in the door now are the crews you need, post this action, to get the airline on its feet again. (FEER states several times that the AOA answer is more pilots.)

Hyperthetically, if management agreed tomorrow to AOAs demands..... could you realistically employ the new standards without these crew in the pipeline?

Please dont slam my arguments outright. I simply want to know how the IFALPA ban meant to help?

Preventing DE Capts and FOs I understand but the applicability of SOs....not so sure?

17th Aug 2001, 20:09
Having seen the reaction of the CAD to the L1011s once serviced by HAECO on their first or second flights into HKG, (a/c grounded until maintenance carried out to CAD satisfaction) I hope that 411a's heavy maintenance is just that. There is no economical way that a Tristar can compete in Asia against the 777/330 combinations of CX and the like. Not just due to maintenance and gas prices, but the perception of the travelling public about old aircraft. One of the reasons that CX and SQ are so popular amongst Asias pax are the new fleets used by both. You ain't going to get rich ferrying domestic helpers around 411a.....the rest of the asian travelling public are a little more discerning than you are used to I suggest....... :p

17th Aug 2001, 20:25
The perception of the public is that:
1. They wouldn't know the airframe difference, only, once inside, whether it's single aisle or twin aisle, whether there is enough room in the overhead and under the seat to stow all the carry on baggage; whether the seat is comfortable and how much legroom and elbow room prevails.
2. The cost of the ticket.
3. Day, date and time of departure/arrival.
4. Will the flight be on time?
5. Will checked baggage arrive simultaneously? :cool:

18th Aug 2001, 00:02
My deepest sympathies HERB,facing a similar kind of managent here although only one of my colleges has been fired I know what you are saying.The pilot union has been banned and our working agreement throwen in the dust bin,the MD has no idea of what an airline is all about and who are the people that make it happen every day.The flight duty times dont exhist any more and the part that hurts the most is it is our own people who turn aginst us when given managment posts.Good luck to you and remember,it is by gods will we come into this world and he will provide.

18th Aug 2001, 00:38
100 % AOA...PLAY GOLF!

...and as for GUV and 411A, FOXTROT OSCAR!!!! :cool:

The Guvnor
18th Aug 2001, 00:48
Truth hurts, eh, busdriver25? :D :eek: :D

(Actually, I thought I'd been rather impartial on this one... ah well, can't please everyone!) :rolleyes: :eek: :rolleyes:

[ 17 August 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]

Marko Ramius
18th Aug 2001, 02:37

P155 OFF

18th Aug 2001, 03:57

I was parked next to the A340 and had to walk pass it to get to my own plane. The sign displayed at the gate showed YYZ as the destination and I saw the 3 pilots and the F/A's boarded the plane at the same time. Do you guys wear your uniform when you deadhead? If you are deadheading, wouldn't you board the plane at the same time as the regular pax?

18th Aug 2001, 04:04
We wear our uniforms when deadheading as we are on the Gen dec. We also board with the operating crew and we usually help out with the paperwork or whatever needs to be done. After all, the pilots are all on the same team. :D

18th Aug 2001, 08:29
>>BTW Airbubba, your comment "...tardy PR effort to portray the sacked as prominent local citizens involved in charitable works ..." belittles these men<<

I think my comment accurately belittles the lackluster PR effort, not the men (you do hire women, don't you?). Perhaps you feel the sacking of your colleagues deserves a hiring ban for others while continuing to train and accept upgrades yourselves.

I'll certainly honor the hiring band. I could never pass the tests or afford the cut in pay. However, I agree with others here that if you're not willing to do more yourselves for your fallen comrades, your threats of name calling to outsiders will sound hollow indeed.

Anyway, please prove me wrong and take the bull by the horns!

[ 18 August 2001: Message edited by: Airbubba ]

18th Aug 2001, 18:20

2449 posts........get a life. !! :D

19th Aug 2001, 08:52
If cost cutting is truly a major concern at cx, it would seem that cutting out the fat at the middle and upper management level would be a far better strategy than reducing the number of pilots. If you go back and read the initial dispute posting, you will recall that the rostering agreement is the one thing that the AOA has been trying to negotiate unsuccessfully for years. Flights are being cancelled because there is not enough crew. Sick out, or just plain fatigue? Crew is being called to operate "as a favour", without even a day off between ULH. Stress is a proven major factor in all illness.

Wet leasing aircraft is hugely expensive. Perhaps it would make sense to go back to the negotiating table before expenses mount further.

Upper management salaries are reported to be in the neighborhood of $7 million HK dollars. Who's on the gravy train??????

For those who want, visit the the AOA website. Lots of good information.

411A - won't you miss the view of the fountain in SE Aisa?

Eff Oh
20th Aug 2001, 14:07
Govner. First of all let me apologise for my late reply, but some of us have to work, I am sure you too will work for/ run an airline one day, and understand! NOT!!!!
Now for the reply to my post....
No I dont have CX management's side on this....Apparently I went, "Out on a limb", (as you put it) to say that CX management were in breech of contract. Oh you are refering to my line of "a contract works both ways"? Well it does unless you are guilty of gross misconduct then a notice period, or renumeration for that, must be given. If CX had 52 guys working for them who were guilty of gross misconduct, then they need to look at their training and standards departments! They wre obviously not running a very safe operation!.......... This I find hard to believe. Therefore it would suggest that the dismissals are unfair. Now I am no more a lawyer thanThe Govneris an airline boss, but this would seem to be the case! :rolleyes:
As for my Ex pat experiance.....
I have none, but I fail to see what difference that makes?? As you suggesting that if I was an ex pat that I would expectto be treated like this??? :rolleyes: I dont think so some how! So please enlighten me with that one!
Anyway Gov...I thought you would be too busy masterminding your empire, than to worry about 52 fellow pilots in the Far East?? You really shoud have told people that your airline was a Flight Sim 2000 "Fantasy" airline! I think a few got confused and thought it was for real!
Eff Oh.
PS Sorry for changing the subject on this one. I will now not reply to any personally aimed posts on this topic. :cool:

20th Aug 2001, 15:10
Everyone here is a little bit right...but that's not going to solve the problem. When some are describing the 49'ers as the lunatics now running the asylum and the management as recalcitrant.

Everyone has to step back and let in someone from the outside to mediate bnefore we end up with a very large row of body bags and more rich divorce lawyers.

I repeat in this forum that there is goodwill...everyone wants to make CX the best airline in the world to work for.

It's not about the money..it's about everyone getting a life.

Let's sit down and talk.

20th Aug 2001, 15:39
Hi Guv.

Totally of subject; through this topic I've noticed you have 2471 posts since Jul 99. That would be 26 month up to date. That would make 95 posts per month on average. In 20 business days per month that would be 5 posts per day on average, meaning: 1 post every 1.5h1 post every 1.5h.
You are what? An Airline Chief???
Must be a pretty relaxing, not to say boring job.

P.S. Before you ask the figures were rounded mathematically, indeed we are looking at 4.75 posts per day.

CX crew remember, "It's not size of the dog on a fight, but size of the fight within the dog!" never give up.

The Guvnor
20th Aug 2001, 15:45
Even at 5 minutes a post, that still leaves 23 hours 35 minutes per day to do other things! :D :D :D

I'll only start to get worried about PPRuNeholism when my daily average hits say 25... :eek: :rolleyes: :eek:

20th Aug 2001, 15:59
Hey Guvnor. 5 minutes to post?

Not spending much time reading the posts made by others then, are you.
Which just goes to confirm what we all suspected anyhow.
That you never bleedin' think before opening your big gob!

20th Aug 2001, 20:08
I have to say CX has acted appallingly in this case; it really is not acceptable, if the company is to attract the very best pilots, to treat ANY employee in this way. I remember a few years back, while Peter Sutch was chairman, they published in their annual report a list of commitments, including making CX one of the best places to work, etc. etc; what has become of this? Surely they still realise that staff input is required to main the airline's standards. CX has the potential to be one of the best, if not the best airlines in the world and also one of the most successful. The ball is now firmly in the airline's court and I sincerely hope the union makes it clear to them that this will not and cannot stand.

Is there any arbitration system in HK? Can't the HKAOA start the ball rolling by offering a concession, such a 5-10 year no-strike clause, in exchange for the reinstatement of the crews and a decent roster system (for example)?

Finally, what are the nationalities of those involved? Presumably, there are nationals of CX destination countries - New Zealanders, Aussies, Canadians, British etc; would it be worth considering some kind of legal or even government action in the "home countries"; certainly, if an Irish pilot were treated in this way, I would expect the Irish government to bring the matter to the attention of the Chinese embassy; if Ireland were an online destination, I'd expect some threat to withdraw Cathay's route authority if this did not work. A little drastic perhaps, but something worth considering down the line . . .

The Guvnor
20th Aug 2001, 20:22
Maxalt - I speed read. It took me all of 1.5 seconds to read your sh*te, sorry, post!

Anyway, isn't this thread supposed to be about CX??

On that subject, I hear that they are leasing in 23 - count them, 23 - aircraft from mainly Chinese airlines in case Wednesday's vote is for an all out strike. Aircraft include:

China Eastern A300
China Nothern MD90, A300
Air China 772, 744
China Northwest A300
China Southern 772
China Southwest 757, A343

[ 20 August 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]

20th Aug 2001, 20:31
Hey Guv.

you have just underlined Maxalts piont!! Living life on 1.5 sec's!!
Congrats mate.

20th Aug 2001, 21:58
These airlines, that these aircraft will be leased from, have among the lowest safety ratings of all airlines. These airplanes will come with these unsafe pilots too. By the way, there were many compaints about the pilots smoking in the cockpit before pushback, life jackets rivetted to the bottom of the seats, and somebody drinking alcohol in the cockpit. Why would any passenger who cares about his life fly on these chartered aircraft? Have a nice flight. :)

20th Aug 2001, 22:08
Don't forget CX cabincrew positioning on these aircraft who were called to the flightdeck to translate ATC instructions!!!

The Guvnor
20th Aug 2001, 22:50
It seems to me - and I don't know if you agree with this, Busdriver25et al but this really serves to reinforce the point that it's no longer the gweilos that are in charge at CX but rather the mandarins in Beijing. From a strategic viewpoint, I think this must be remembered by the AOA.

Either that, or the Chinese economy is in the absolute pits so that there are loads of aircraft just standing around! :D :D :D

21st Aug 2001, 05:17
Exactly. Hong Kong is now part of the Mainland. Indirectly, Beijing is pulling the strings at CX. Sooner or later CX will be indistinguishable from the rest of the Mainland carriers; and there will be no shortage of ready, willing and able Chinese Air Force pilots to fly for food.

Curiously, no expats are queued up at Guangzhou-Baiyun to fly China Southern's 777s.

21st Aug 2001, 08:50
It's not that Beijing is running the show now, Cathay Pacific will only go for the cheapest option. Chinese airplanes can be wet leased the cheapest, so that's where we get them. Airplanes can be painted cheaper in China, so that's where they get painted, but that's different story. :cool:

[ 21 August 2001: Message edited by: busdriver25 ]

21st Aug 2001, 17:40
I think you'll find that The Guvnor is in CX management, if you look a little harder.

I would have thought that if you want to lure a top pilot to move to the third world, and to the most expensive city in the world, you would need to pay him more than anyone else.

21st Aug 2001, 22:07
Wake up folks...no cx management here...just normal folks who have "been there...done that" ALL THE BEST IN THE HARBOUR..... welcome to the hard reality of the expat contract pilot....gone are the days of the "Delta airlines" contract pilots...hello to to the "new order"..a reality those of us in the rest of the world have accepted...sad but true..."progress"

22nd Aug 2001, 06:46
Ironbutt, Guv, and 411A are all suspected management. Don't trust these people. :mad: :mad: :mad:

22nd Aug 2001, 07:26
Since all the CX people are on their own forum, I presume these are ALL management people talking to eachother.

The Guvnor
22nd Aug 2001, 10:09
Nah, I suspect that the only CX management here is busdriver25 who's desperately trying to appear as hardline union as possible (but overdoing it somewhat) ... I reckon his game plan is that if they make it appear that the AOA has been taken over by militants that would attract in crews who would be happy to 'union bust' having had bad experiences with them in the 80s and 90s.

Just my 2c!! (as a non-CX manager)

22nd Aug 2001, 11:19
Hi Guv.

As we are accusing ourselves here on being management pilots, I was wondering if you, or bus25, ironbutt or 411A would care to elaborate on exactly how these suspicions have come about; and why that would be a problem in the first place? As it seems, CX and the union are, at the moment unable to find some common grounds for a decent discussion as to how to rid the problem. Why not use this forum of an initial, anonymous approach for a dialogue?
Although I have nothing to do with CX, have not even once flown with them, I hate to see such a great airline being FedEx'd to hell.
Just a thought.

The Guvnor
22nd Aug 2001, 11:54
Looks like this could be the reason why Chinese airlines seem to have rather a lot of aircraft hanging around...

From atwonline.com:

CAAC has reported that China's airline industry suffered a loss of 2 billion yuan
($241.36 million) in the first half of this year. CAAC stated that among China's more than 30 domestic airlines, only Shandong Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Shanghai Airlines were profitable. Industry RPKs were up 9.6% and cargo up 8.6% during the period.

BTW, my last posting was intended to be tongue in cheek! :D :D :D

22nd Aug 2001, 12:04

Cathay Pacific Airways pilotsmarch to a meeting in Hong Kong August 22, 2001. Cathay Pacific Airways' pilots are likely to vote overwhelmingly for tougher job action as their dispute with management drags on, a pilots' union spokesman said. In the last week, the airline has been forced to cancel a number of flights because a growing number of pilots were calling in sick. REUTERS/Kin Cheung

22nd Aug 2001, 12:14
>>Cathay Pacific Airways' pilots are likely to vote overwhelmingly for tougher job action as their dispute with management drags on<<



22nd Aug 2001, 12:30
Far from it.

There is much intellectual cpaital available to debate the issues with the public.

What is actually needed is some outside help. All the apray is on the walls.

Both sides need two folk with cultural and intellectual sensitivity to the isues to broker a peace...one item at a time.

Harry Erman
22nd Aug 2001, 12:35
I have carefully studied all the postings here and I strongly suspect that one or two contributors are not fellow management! Be careful and don't trust anyone, folks!

22nd Aug 2001, 13:27
Don't trust anyone...but trust the goodwill.

Most folk who have lived CX for 10 years plus..on both sides have goodwill.

What they don't have is the ability to talk to each other.

What I am proposing is that two souls with intellectual affinity to the issues and a love for the company be brought in to solve...ONE PROBLEM AT A TIME.

An ex CS from the the UK does not have the investment in CX to donate body parts.

Body parts is what is required.

Donors to the front of the queu please...

if it's 2% or 3% ...surely everyone will contribute as long as people can get their lives back. Try the HKAOA rostering system...it's one of the few things that works at the moment.

Old Scrotum
23rd Aug 2001, 17:02
They weren't to interested in '93 when Mr Eeddington Phd Cx An Ba etc and "Paddy" O'Gilvie set the ball rolling for new roster ptactices. Why change the habits of a life time! Hope that eventually sense will prevail for everyone in the company! :confused: :confused:

23rd Aug 2001, 23:05
Nice pics but there ain't no local faces.

25th Aug 2001, 12:25
Quite right. There's only about 30 faces. We have 1500 pilots. Hey, I'm not in the picture either. I guess I must not be supporting the AOA--Think again. 100%AOA!! :cool:

25th Aug 2001, 19:47
I am not saying your local pilots are not supporting AOA. What I am saying is you need local faces to convince the general public that it is not a fight dominated by the high paid gweilos. :rolleyes:

[ 25 August 2001: Message edited by: smith ]

26th Aug 2001, 01:32
These guys stepped on their [email protected] a long time ago by EXcluding locals in the first place. Of course, many of the present guys were not there then, but the culture certainly remained.
Too bad they could not see the light sooner.

The Guvnor
26th Aug 2001, 01:42
It may be just coincidence - but why in that pic are there very, very few Captains? :confused: :eek: :confused:

26th Aug 2001, 02:32
Perhaps they were in front, leading the parade.

26th Aug 2001, 02:57
More likely in the bar....so that the junior guys can make fools of themselves.

26th Aug 2001, 07:31

Regarding your comment about very few captain in the picture. It is probably because we are low on pilots, especially captains, and most of them are out flying. Also F.O.'s tend to hang out in one group and captains in another. This is just one random picture. There are, however, many senior captain that used to be anti-union that fully support the union now because of management's poor leadership. Thanks for everybody's support through these though times. The aviation world is very small and it is nice that pilots can help one another out during tough and unfair times. Thanks to you all. :)

[ 26 August 2001: Message edited by: busdriver25 ]

26th Aug 2001, 10:43
Let's remember that the motion of support for the AOA carried at over 92%. That figure includes an awful lot of captains, except for the management ones, of course.

411A, why don't you concentrate on your own start-up, or at staring at the fountain from Indian Wells?

31st Aug 2001, 03:17
Cathay management are now conducting intimmidation interviews for those pilots that call in sick. Apparently if you don't give them adequate notice ie. greater than 12 hours, you are not allowed to call in sick. What are these idiots doing? So much for flight safety. :cool:

31st Aug 2001, 03:25
>>What are these idiots doing? So much for flight safety.<<

Of course, a lot of folks call in sick when they are not sick, even brag about it, no wonder companies are not always inclined to take a pilot's word on this matter.

Crying flight safety during an industrial action is kinda like when we cry poverty during pay negotiations. Comes with the territory I suppose...