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Old 10th May 2012, 23:06
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Earth
Posts: 71

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.
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Old 10th May 2012, 23:33
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
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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.
Iron Skillet is offline  
Old 11th May 2012, 00:06
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 754
Don't sign

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.

Don't sign.
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Old 11th May 2012, 00:23
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Join Date: Dec 1999
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Posts: 673
I personally have little interest in being a passenger on a large number of forgeign airlines.
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Old 11th May 2012, 00:42
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Earth
Posts: 349
give full credit for positioning on the freighter and we'll all be happy.................
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Old 11th May 2012, 01:21
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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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.

Last edited by Iron Skillet; 11th May 2012 at 04:20.
Iron Skillet is offline  
Old 11th May 2012, 01:33
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 170
Say NO!!

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!!!!
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Old 11th May 2012, 01:41
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: The pointy end
Posts: 51
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.
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Old 11th May 2012, 04:00
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 754
Fantastic post Iron Skillet!

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Old 11th May 2012, 04:04
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 85
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?
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Old 11th May 2012, 04:33
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
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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.
Oval3Holer is offline  
Old 11th May 2012, 04:59
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 505
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.
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Old 11th May 2012, 07:18
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Happy Valley
Age: 44
Posts: 37

Dear GMA,

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?

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Old 11th May 2012, 08:45
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sydney
Posts: 38
You can't PX with KA

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.
AsiaMiles is offline  
Old 11th May 2012, 09:10
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
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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.
Iron Skillet is offline  
Old 11th May 2012, 09:33
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: the world
Posts: 142

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.
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Old 11th May 2012, 10:37
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: somewhere
Posts: 230
How can anyone sign up for this when crew accommodation on the 777 freighter has yet to be detailed?
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Old 11th May 2012, 13:33
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Out there
Posts: 291
As Sizematters says, full credit plus fit the freighters with proper club seating!
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Old 11th May 2012, 14:29
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Age: 54
Posts: 195
What an arrogant letter, full of threats and open disdain.

Does he seriously think this is a good strategy? Tool.
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Old 11th May 2012, 14:59
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Out there
Posts: 291
Say NO as it has to lead to more productive rostering!
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