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Letter from Greg Hughes (Service Delivery Mgr) to HKAOA

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Letter from Greg Hughes (Service Delivery Mgr) to HKAOA

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Old 14th Apr 2018, 04:51
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Letter from Greg Hughes (Service Delivery Mgr) to HKAOA

Dear Greg,

Just read your April 10th letter to the HKAOA Chairman. You rabbit on and on about the need for “both parties” to be open to concessions, that there has to be “give and take” from both sides (and we know that in your mind, that ONLY means pilot concessions). Let me help clarify a few things for you. The pilots are done “giving”. That is all you and your ilk have expected from the early 1990’s.

Obviously, you and your management cohorts are still living in the 1990’s. You still seem to believe that you have the upper hand. Well, unless you have figured out a way to operate an airline without pilots, you no longer have the upper hand. We do.

The pilots of the airline have concluded, almost to a person that this job is no longer worth staying for. Nearly every flight I operate has crew that are either: a) applying for a new job, b) have already interviewed for a new job, c) are awaiting a course date for their new job, d) have already given notice for their new job, or e) retiring early as they can’t stand any longer their old job.

You and your kind have pushed your cart just that one inch too far over the line, and the result is that you have enabled most of us to clear away any cobwebs of doubt we may have had as to whether or not we needed to seek employment elsewhere. In case you haven't noticed, most of the worlds airlines are short of pilots, and becoming more so every day. We have plenty of options.

Every time you or AT or RH make any utterances that contradict our well reasoned and insistent improvement to pay, housing, staff travel, medical, retirement etc, you simply ensure that another 100 or so pilots sit up and say to themselves “ I’m leaving”.

So you go ahead and keep pretending that you can drive the pilots of this airline deeper into penury. You can then move onto your next “service delivery” item, which will be figuring out how the aircraft are going to move from A to B without the very people who you are striving so hard to screw over. Good luck with that, please let us know how that turns out.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 05:32
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+1

I’d write less but I’m concerned that you (Greg) may interpret the post as an isolated opinion from a disgruntled employee. I have experienced the same emotions and witnessed the same actions on every flight (no exceptions) I’ve operated I past 4 months.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 05:38
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Originally Posted by Cpt. Underpants View Post
+1

I’d write less but I’m concerned that you (Greg) may interpret the post as an isolated opinion from a disgruntled employee. I have experienced the same emotions and witnessed the same actions on every flight (no exceptions) I’ve operated I past 4 months.
Plus two +2
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 05:58
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Absolutely +3.

HKAOA, ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore, withdraw, withdraw, withdraw. The useful life of that sort of language is over. It’s disingenuous nonsense.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 06:08
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+4

MMole my thoughts exactly! It is time for give and take. They took our 13th month, so we want that back. In fact, the 13th month is contractual over at Dragon, so parity with Dragon’s COS is the non-negotiable starting point of any new “good faith bargaining “.

And totally agree with Bang...at the first sign of their old negotiating tricks, walk away....our leverage only increases with time.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 06:10
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+2

Let's be realistic. For the HKAOA, the success of any talks is proportionate to leverage. It will have nothing to do with an intellectual debate or any altruristic desire by the company to "right" all the previous "wrongs". For whatever reason the HKAOA's leverage from CC/TB has deminished and we are now looking at resignation rates to generate leverage.

Despite all the rumours about resignations, what I see as a "line driver" is a relatively stable roster on the 777 and Airbus fleets. The freight operation has an inherent instability and whether the 747 roster is "unstable", I am in no position to comment. I say all this by drawing a comparison to 2015 when I saw;

1. The occasional aircraft parked (sometimes with pax boarded and waiting for crew).
2. Pilots grounded from hitting 900 hours or not completing regulatory training.
3. Big phone arounds by Crew Control to crew aircraft.
4. The Company forming "working groups" in an attempt to stabilise the roster.
5. A lack of reserve coverage.

From my vantage as a line driver, I presently see none of those 5 things happening to any extent and certainly not to the extent I saw in 2015. Now, we will know in the next few weeks if it was true that resignations spiked in the first 3 months of the year. Would the loss of 90 pilots brings the HKAOA leverage?, I honestly don't know. However, I see nothing in GH's letter indicating that the Board is putting money on the table. Perhaps I am reading too much into GH's letter, but I read it as any deal must be "give and take" self-funding. Is that what we want?

I accept that I don't have any inside info, but what I do know is that you only go into negotiations when your leverage is at the maximum. As a line driver, it appears our leverage is not at maximum and rather than waste time and distract the members, the GC would be wise to return to the huddle and maximise the effect of CC/TB and then hope resignation rates do the rest.

Interestingly, we again seem to be heading into talks in May which is very adjacent to the next GC election and I very much hope we will not see the rushed chaos we saw in 2016.

Bottomline, unless the GC is sure the company is putting money on the table, walk away and focus on building leverage and enter talks at a later date from a position of strength, not desperation or exasperation.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 06:15
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Originally Posted by raven11 View Post
+4

MMole my thoughts exactly! It is time for give and take. They took our 13th month, so we want that back. In fact, the 13th month is contractual over at Dragon, so parity with Dragon’s COS is the starting point of any new “good faith bargaining “.

And totally agree with Bang...at the first sign of their old negotiating tricks, walk away.
Notice to Darryl and Co: note - "at the first sign of their old negotiating tricks, walk away." WALK AWAY. Have nothing to do with any further harm to the pilot group. Let the company do what they want, and we will react accordingly. Most of my colleagues know exactly what they are planning on doing, LEAVE (and that is even before any negative negotiation outcome).
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 06:20
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Liam, you call dozens of cancelled flights a 'stable' roster (as one example, they have cancelled over a 100 LAX flights over the past 6 months, and that is just one port). The company can keep cancelling services prior to roster production, so to you the roster seems "stable". In reality, the company is collapsing from the inside out. No airline can survive for long when their pilots start leaving. CX will find that a truism.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 06:34
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Liam, the only reason you don't see the types of events happening (at least on the surface) is simply because, as MM just highlighted, they are shrinking the task. You could have only a 100 pilots left in CX, but if you cut the roster to two flights a day, you would still have a "stable" roster. A station manager from one of our main ports (not mentioning for confidentiality reasons) told me, and I quote: "HK has told me that they are reducing flying from our port because of a SHORTAGE of PILOTS".

The wheels are coming off, and this is the last gasp of arrogance and self-conceit from our management. Soon, (and my favourite quote from Gladiator), "the time for honouring yourself will soon be at an end". No better quote can describe what is coming for our management.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 06:38
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This is the time to wait.

Go fishing, go diving, enjoy life.

When they are ready they will show the money and conditions. No need to jump at someone not ready to make a deal.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 06:45
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No reason to be in the same room with someone who ONLY wants to take something away from you. They have no intention on giving anything. Sheps advice is appropriate, walk away and enjoy your life. Better yet, spend your time focusing on obtaining a job at an airline that will value you and treat you with respect.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 06:47
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Can we also get a confirmation from Darryl and the GC that they are NOT going to be negotiating ANY concession. Anything less than that is unacceptable. If CX management can't get their heads around that, then better to not enter into any negotiation at all. Let management dare to unilaterally attack us further. I guess one pilot a day leaving is not yet enough...
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 07:03
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The only way to ensure that we give no concessions is a member motion not allowing the NC to negotiate ANY CONCESSIONS... otherwise we might end up with a TA that not many people want but gets voted through in the end because 50% +1 have had enough.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 07:48
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Sorry Liam G but they are shrinking the task as others have said..i.e. they are hiding the slide that they have manufactured.....they dont want to let it slip. But its subtle...suddenly the daily 24 hour layover on your roster to whatever long haul destination now is 48 or even 72 that month and we all go wee some time off for once...but thats happening in lots of ports. We only see us and a few mates not the bigger picture.

Its interesting that more leave slots are coming available.....

They dont want to show us they are hurting and they sure as hell dont want to show shareholders. So they will manufacture us into a dispute blame us further and impose...and those that hadnt followed the rest getting ready to jump will be moving on and there ends Cathay.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 08:04
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Oh, please "impose". I am leaving anyway, so it will be enjoyable to put the boot in one last time before I go.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 08:09
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Impose? Impose how? My FO on my mid-week flight just received his course date at QF. His two best friends at CX are awaiting their course dates (they have already interviewed ). He told me that the word on the street in Sydney is that there is an ever increasing stream of CX pilots coming through the doors for interviews. Applications alone are in the multi-100's range.

That is only ONE airline. I imagine the flow to BA and other airlines is equally impressive. A french FO told me that he is about to leave for AF, and that most of the french pilots are planning on the same. No one wants to be the last person to join the new seniority list.

And so it goes. So, let CX "impose" something. Epic own-goal that will prove.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 08:13
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I suspected they were shrinking the task, but again I don't see it. Shrinking the task is the only realistic explanation, unless we accept management's assertions there's indeed no pilot shortage.

The 4th LAX and 5th LHR were always marginal in terms of load, so I am not surprised they get cancelled on occasion. However, I still see the daily flights going daily and the double daily going double-daily. We don't see a Ryanair scenario where flights are cancelled and money is returned and a public outcry occurs. If the task Is being shrunk, it must be on flights that are not heavily booked.

As for the notion of hiding information from the shareholders, 85% of the shareholders are Swire, Air China and Qatar. Given the people who would be doing the hiding are Swire employees and Air China has their people on the Board and Qatar is a competitor, I cannot see how anything can be hidden from them. The managers/BoardShareholders are really the same people (left hand hiding from right hand).

If they are indeed shrinking the task to match the number of pilots, then it must be assumed they believe it is a better economic solution than putting money in the table. If that decision has been made, then a pilot shortage gives us no leverage, which again supports the idea of hesitating to enter negotiations.

There is of course another explanation and that is the Company is playing the long game and is just trying to wear us down and they can see the Chairman and half the GC are near the end of their 2 year term and has sensed the GC is fatigued to the extent the GC is prepared to entertain a limited wealth-redistribution type deal. A follow on from the HPE debacle, which again was a GC coming near the end of their term.

Perhaps Brokeidiot is not such an idiot and perhaps it's time the members gave the GC some clear guidance... No concessions.....
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 08:22
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Liam. As another contributor told you, as one example, LAX has cancelled hundreds of flights over the past several months. One port.

It's not about "hiding" anything from shareholders (as if CX cares about the shareholder). They are quietly managing the operation to cope with the shortage of pilots, the sickness rate and the instability that a normal schedule would trigger. Are you suggesting that a pilot a day on average leaving (and that is set to increase) is a sustainable business model?

Regardless, the truth of the situation will play out over many months. I am confident that this airline has seen its day, and a prosperous and stable career can only be had at another employer.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 09:27
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Liam,

As others have said they are definitely shrinking the roster. I recently looked at taking the Family down to JNB in May for our holidays. The daily service is running at 4 or 5 flights a week over the time I looked at.

I suspect there is a lot of this going on around the network to mask the issues.

Shrinking the airline is how we win apparently.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 09:46
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Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please do not think we haven't experienced similar emotions. Candidly airlines the world over are run by the same 'cookie cutter' MBA cost accountants thus it is everywhere. Bolt it to an adversarial IR/HR model and you have the modern dysfunctional and totally disconnected Corporate.

Having seen how these departments of vultures operate, we can assure you of one profound commonality; they absolutely rely on emotional responses. Good or bad they can rate the effectiveness. What their templates do not function with as they plan expansions of strategy or retreat from, is indifference.

Cathay Pilots have a hard won reputation. You collectively are way above their station. They know this.

As a wise person once remarked to a younger version of Rated De "Don't try to wrestle pigs, you get really dirty and pigs love it."

Practice indifference, quiet and dignified and they will not know next what to do in order to justify, what is from personal insight, a soulless and pathetic vocation.
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