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Virgin Australia and its boss Jayne Hrdlicka hit with bullying claim

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Virgin Australia and its boss Jayne Hrdlicka hit with bullying claim

Old 30th Jul 2022, 07:52
  #41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Sunfish
Aerial perspective + 1.

‘’I’ve had most of that directed at me, including being asked to write a report recommending a dodgy $10 million investment that had the sole purpose of getting my boss a seat on the Board of a venture capital company, something she greatly prized. When I refused my days were numbered. I found out later she went behind my back to get one of my staff to write that recommendation. He refused too.

‘’She cost that business at least $250 million as well as carefully searching through the organization and destroying every pocket of management expertise she found because anyone with expertise was deemed a “threat” to her. Those that left were replaced with (mostly female) incompetent sycophants.

‘’She had an AM and proceeded to wreck more organizations before retiring. I read about the failure of the last business that she chaired only a few weeks ago.

‘’As you said, the most important thing is being able to sleep at night - the “sleep test”.
Yep, and I forgot to mention, although your response about the report put it in my mind, one-on-one conversations with my manager who agreed with everything then at the next management meeting virtually parroted everything I'd said including my conclusions and analysis and passed it off as his own thoughts.

That was the point where I realised early on that I was dealing with a low-altitude-flyer (no pun intended) who had absolutely zero nous or ability to be circumspect about others and was just influenced by the most manipulative and treasure-seeking of the group. Never ever questioned or looked into their performance, but believed everything they said about me.

Unfortunately, industry is replete with these unintelligent know-nothings who climb their way up by stumbling from one disaster to another and blaming everyone else but themselves.

Dunning-Kruger Effect writ large.
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Old 30th Jul 2022, 09:56
  #42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AerialPerspective
Although the thread is about Virgin Australia, so why other companies are being brought into it is beyond me.

Because every Aus/NZ thread turns into a Qantas discussion. Unfortunately I think it must be a PPRuNe Law.
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Old 30th Jul 2022, 11:06
  #43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Sparrows.
Because every Aus/NZ thread turns into a Qantas discussion. Unfortunately I think it must be a PPRuNe Law.
Yes. True. A form of 'whataboutism'. Can't criticise any company without the inevitable "but what about what xyz airlines did......."
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 03:02
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Now that's gotta be a PPRuNe record.
In cricket terms, Aerial's managed a "7 for…" (7 out of ten posts) including 2 hat-tricks!
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 07:30
  #45 (permalink)  
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Jack D Ripper:
What makes you think VA has a monopoly on ‘MBA types’? Not even close.

Does it surprise you? They are smart, think alike, are commercially savvy, work as a team and can communicate incredibly effectively.

Sadly the reality is that the days of people with deep operational experience running airlines are long gone.
Yes Jack, I have one of the better ones and you flatter me. However it is a total, fatal, fallacy that possession of that qualification means that you can manage anything at all without direct personal coal face experience of the industry concerned. It is utter BS and my career is living proof of that.

In fact the decay of so many institutions and companies around the world is caused by this creeping credentialism. You need coal face experience or you are just another empty suit parroting empty phrases. I think it’s now “ESG” and “triple bottom line”. When I was anointed the bible was the book “In search of excellence” that talked about such management concepts as “simultaneous loose / tight requirements and similar malarkey . One of the touted examples of excellence was Boeing. Remind me how that worked out.

My reading of what happened is that the CP was asked to screw his own workforce for the benefit of investors and when he wouldn’t he was replaced by someone who would. Narcissists have no problem being ruthless however I would have thought that if pilots are true professionals, then they have a professional code that overrides company financial objectives. Requiring a pilot/manager to act counter to that duty to their profession is impossible.

Last edited by Sunfish; 2nd Aug 2022 at 11:51.
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 12:29
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I don’t disagree with you Sunfish. Nor do I place too much emphasis on the MBA, more on the the Plat du jour.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 06:50
  #47 (permalink)  
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Virgin claims the CP only made bully accusations after his request for a $0.9m payout and gold status lounge access was declined. And he would have "departed quietly if a deal was reached"...
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 08:21
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Virgin files defence to bullying claims against Jayne Hrdlicka
Virgin Australia has filed an explosive defence to a bullying complaint by former chief pilot Michael Fitzgerald, claiming he only took legal action when his demand for almost $1m to “go quietly” was rejected. Mr Fitzgerald lodged an unfair dismissal complaint against Virgin Australia in April, shortly after he was terminated following an extended period of medical and personal leave.

He claimed he was “discriminated against for mental illness and injury, caused by the conduct of Ms Hrdlicka”, alleging she spoke down to him in group settings, and blamed him when pilots rejected a new enterprise agreement.

In its defence filed in the Federal Circuit Court on Thursday, Virgin Australia denied any wrongdoing by Ms Hrdlicka and said Mr Fitzgerald raised the prospect of redundancy after three months of medical leave between July and October 2021.

After seeking advice, chief operating officer Stuart Aggs told him a redundancy was not available but Mr Fitzgerald could exit on his current salary terms.

“No allegation was made at that time that Mr Fitzgerald had been bullied at work, and no further information was provided regarding his medical condition,” the defence states.

Two weeks later, he was informed of his entitlement to 12-weeks pay, or $86,148, if he wished to resign subject to him signing a deed of release.

In response to the offer, Mr Fitzgerald’s barrister Chris Watters sent a letter enclosing a demand for $925,000 plus other benefits including gold status Virgin lounge access, staff travel and related in-air benefits.

Virgin Australia reinstated its previous offer, prompting Mr Watters to send another letter requesting a severance payment of $769,700.

“Mr Fitzgerald’s preference is not to engage in complex, expensive and protracted litigation,” said Mr Watters’ letter.

Sign up“Mr Fitzgerald is prepared to depart the company quietly, and on good terms, subject to payment of a settlement sum of $769,700 by way of an ex-gratia payment (that is not taxable) to be paid to Mr Fitzgerald’s bank account.”

According to Virgin Australia’s defence, the demand was rejected on December 17, and on December 22 Mr Fitzgerald filed an application for a “stop bullying order” in the Fair Work Commission.

“This was the first occasion on which Mr Fitzgerald had ever raised any allegations that he had been bullied at work,” said the defence.

His application was set down for a conference in the commission on March 1, 2022, and in the meantime Mr Fitzgerald attended two independent medical assessments at Virgin’s request.

On the morning of March 1, Mr Aggs made the decision to terminate his position, based on his receipt of the medical reports indicating he was “permanently unfit for work”.

“No part of Mr Aggs’ reasons for dismissing Mr Fitzgerald, were because he made an application for stop bullying orders,” said the defence.

Virgin Australia denied other claims made by Mr Fitzgerald regarding his treatment by Ms Hrdlicka, including an allegation she referred to him as “another one of the Ansett old boys’ club”.

The defence also denied that Ms Hrdlicka blamed him when pilots voted down a new enterprise agreement, or accused him of “failing to rally the troops”.

The matter has been set down for mediation on November 15.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 14:44
  #49 (permalink)  
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My take if what I read if it is an accurate reflection of what was said is that Fitzgerald was told he was expected to behave towards his staff with the same level of care as his boss. Every member of Virgins management will eventually be faced with the same choice: align themselves with Bain behaviour or leave with their professional standards intact.

‘’’I wrote about this type of behaviour in general in 2020. In my opinion Bain wil leave a trail of broken staff, suppliers, customers and mum and dad investors by the time they finally finish sucking the blood out of everyone connected with Virgin.:

You still haven’t seen the claws or smelt the rotting breath of this vampire. Nothing you can think of in your worst nightmares is impossible as long as it’s legal. Don’t you realise that you are standing between the Bain staff and a generational fortune? Some of you still don’t get it. These guys are going to walk away with fortunes that will support their great grandchildren. That is why I keep reminding you about their exit strategy.

When you sit down at table with them remember that. What is at stake is your salary versus them becoming rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Plan accordingly.

To put it another way, what happened at the milk company?


Anyone for tennis?


Last edited by Sunfish; 19th Aug 2022 at 21:39.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 23:06
  #50 (permalink)  
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Sunfish - I won’t say too much, however the fact that the individual in question (not the CEO) is claiming “bullying” is karmic to say the least.

There is a trail of people who have been victim to his behaviour and that of his cronies - many of whom are still there. Aided and abetted by a senior operations executive

Last edited by Snakecharma; 20th Aug 2022 at 02:16.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 05:45
  #51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PoppaJo
Why is this even being broadcast across the nation? Who cares. Keep it behind closed doors like the million other HR cases that employers deal with every day. This case isn’t unique and it isn’t the first.

because it’s in the newspapers. What are you on about?

the children on here should spend more time doing other things than complain incessantly about everything
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 06:09
  #52 (permalink)  
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should spend more time doing other things than complain
but you're here complaining
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 20:24
  #53 (permalink)  
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TBM, the implication is that the entire management structure of Virgin will be populated with clones of the CEO. Plan accordingly. All this case is about is that one senior manager allegedly objected to being absorbed by the borg and was allegedly bullied out of the organisation as a consequence.

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Old 20th Aug 2022, 21:24
  #54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Snakecharma
Aided and abetted by a senior operations executive
Old mate from Jetstar Ops is going, I wonder if she has the seat warmed for him? Aggs is last man standing from memory.
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 02:01
  #55 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PoppaJo
Old mate from Jetstar Ops is going, I wonder if she has the seat warmed for him? Aggs is last man standing from memory.
Mrs Jane must have photos of Stewie with a goat! Thought she would have cut him loose long ago as he is a dud relic from the early VB days.
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