Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Total War

Old 10th Nov 2020, 17:39
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The only ones to blame for the rot beginning are those A scalers who sat doing nothing whilst CX introduced lower conditions and the trainers who trained their cheaper replacements.

Blaming this on someone looking for a job, obviously taking the best option available to them, is the most ludicrous argument I have heard.”

What a myopic and immature statement. The reality is the downward trend in pay and benefits all started on April 1st, 1993 when a group of pilots, the “B” scale, came to Hong Kong and said they would gladly do our same jobs for less pay and benefits. Following quickly behind them came the new ASL pilots who took over the freighter flying for even less pay and benefits. I could go on, but there is a pattern. Why the pilots chose to do the same jobs for much less is completely irrelevant, the fact is they did.

The history speaks for itself. From experience, those who complain and are the most vocal are usually the same ones who are the first to fold their tents and sign. No, it isn’t always somebody else’s fault.

Look around, there are thousands of pilots worldwide wishing they had a job now at a fraction of what you are getting paid.

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Old 10th Nov 2020, 17:41
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Sam Ting Wong

I have accepted market forces and have given up the fight.
What I fail to understand is that we were never able or willing to take a stand all those years ago and monetised the best supply and demand situation I have seen in 40 years of aviation.
And I am not talking about us accepting our 30
pieces of silver in return for your measly 4% and thereby capitulating the best negotiating position in decades.
In short: I am not talking about now, I’m talking about then.

For now, I wish you all the best with your market forces. I’m allright Jack and at least I tried. Funny old thing: I too spent hours and hours in dispatch in the middle of the night “waiting” for delayed and cancelled flights.
95% of the time with all my friends: me, myself and I.
When the other guy(s) showed up at the new report time, they NEVER appreciated the “education” regarding cc.
THAT’S the uselessness of the membership and pilot body I am referring to.
(And don’t even get me started on our “friends” who were “forced” into training or broke the tb.
May their names and careers be tarnished for good!)
Hence we were never able to capitalise on our “strong” position.
Management know our weaknesses and are VERY capable of capitalising on those, hence their paycut only lasts one year and is a mere 15%.
I tried to put my 2 cents in and failed.
I can only hope the next generation can learn from our failure(s) to stand up for ourselves, but I won’t hold my breath.
Can’t really blame them: My generation didn’t exactly lead by example.
Had a good run and enjoyed a lot of it though.
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Old 10th Nov 2020, 23:42
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westcoastcaptain

The reason why they chose to do the same job for less was that it was paying more than the same job they were already doing. Probably the same reason the A scalers took the jobs as well
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 02:54
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Words of wisdom, freehills.

Piet, you are a good guy, no doubt. Maybe look at it this way: no matter what we could have achieved last few years, they would have used the current crisis to take it away anyway.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 02:58
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You are not wrong there STW. That is exactly what they would have done regardless.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 05:33
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Sam Ting Wong

Of course they would have, but if we would have showed them our balls in 2001 and 2015 or thereabouts, in stead of getting them chopped off, maybe we could have achieved something more.
That way our damages could have also been limited to a TEMPORARY concession of 15%, like our leaders’.

In stead, you and your ilk, were ready to cave in for a measly 4% in return for a full surrender, because you felt you were falling on rough times for sitting in dispatch for naught once in a while.
Meanwhile, nobody was and is willing to shun the likes of the tb-breakers and make their lives a living hell or even by giving them the cold shoulder on layovers.
Don’t want to piss off the TRE in case he does your line-check now, would you?
If you don’t fit the shoe, by all means, don’t put it on, but PLEASE, for the love of Buddha, ask yourself if you couldn’t have tried to achieve more by convincing your peers to stand up for what’s right.

What is NOT right is the current situation where your already multi-million-dollar “owners” are enriching themselves even further on your behalf. But you don’t care. You’re allright. Almost retired. Filthy rich with multiple properties.
You just wished you had those extra pieces of silver to buy that Porsche/Harley/65”plasma in your vacation home, so you don’t have to rent one every time you go to your dacha.
Sorry if I put a wrench in that plan and tried to better the conditions for EVERYONE for the LONG term.
As I said: I failed, but I can hold my head up high and look myself in the mirror.
I often wonder how the “forced” trainers and management pilots can though.
Oh well, off to the pool I go.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 05:41
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
We actualy did CC etc exactly as YOU wanted.
One more thing: the above is absolutely not true. You and I and most 747 pilots did, but the Barbie fleet was very prone to acknowledging roster changes. Nobody ever reported them though, so a bit hard to investigate.
They were hard done by too though: shitty soft pillows.
Exceptions all around of course and I am painting with a broad stroke.
If you however think that cc was a success, you are mistaken. Even if it was, if that’s the best you can achieve after dealing with the 49-ers, ask yourself: “how strong was the membership really?”

By all means, blame it on the HKG labour laws. I, for one, blame it on the lack of backbone of the pilot community.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 07:56
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Originally Posted by Piet Lood View Post
(And don’t even get me started on our “friends” who were “forced” into training or broke the tb.
May their names and careers be tarnished for good!)
Yes, however, all the talk of betrayal is always behind their backs and never to their face. They will never really see or hear any tarnish for doing such thing.

I’ve seen and heard many a old crusty Captain berate the brand new very junior C&T Captain at the pub, however, come line check time with said Jr Captain, old crusty is down on his knees right from dispatch crying ‘yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir. Shine your shoes and suck your d..k sir?’

Pathetic.

Last edited by TimeToWhine; 11th Nov 2020 at 08:16.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 08:51
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Piet Lood - it's bizzare how seemingly intelligent people like you still hold onto the belief that we would be better off if we had more backbone. You miss the forest for the trees.

If Ryanair can get away with what they can in Europe etc etc it's kind of cute that people like you still believe that the cx pilots in Hong Kong could somehow have done better if only they didn't answer their phones more or did CC better or didn't join training.

There is a direct correlation between:
1. Pilot contract conditions and the legal environment of countries and
2. Pilot pay and supply and demand.

Individuals not answering phones hasn't had much effect on this for a very long time.

The memberships biggest failure was the fact that we kept electing angry people onto the AOA committee who kept pushing the idea that we can somehow beat this reality.
And worse - only some had to "fight " by accepting delayed career advancement while the rest didn't have to do anything but sit on their hands ( example -JFO upgrade delays while DEFO get hired, not allowed to advance your career by joining training etc)

They would have been much better off if they had rather tried to keep a better relationship going with the grown ups. That would have led to less of a rogering right now as it's fairly clear that many no cost vindictive elements of COS18 is the parents punishing the kids for their bad behaviour...
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 09:24
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Yes, because that’s how grownups behave: they punish their “kids” for bad behaviour.
In stead of taking the high road and teach those kids some empathy.
In stead of “rewarding” the kids with no cost items and try and work together with the “kids”, they punish them and deny them their playtime/tear up their rostering practices.
You’d make a great dad!

Look, I get it, I hit a soar spot and the old “it’s not fair that the trainers have to bear all the burden” is a well known and worn out complaint and I won’t bore you with the similarly old and tired “with great power, comes great responsibility”-answer.

I can’t prove to you that I’m right in that a pilot body with a backbone would have achieved more (there never has been any), but I CAN prove that you’re wrong in that working together with the adults didn’t achieve any improvement either. Ask Darryl and Tad.

P.S. You’re in training aren’t ya?
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 11:21
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Well I did not sign over. I came here for a contract. Left Qantas actually. Going forward for me at least. Not worth staying. I hope all my colleagues manage to see their way through this very tough year. Work if you need to, pay your bills. Leave when you can. Thats what the industry has become. Why you would train to be a pilot outside the military now I can't answer that. The industry will rite itself, however I'll be in my 60's by then.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 11:49
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Piet Lood, you are entirely right. The comparison with Ryanair is useless as Ryanair abuses the situation as they work in different countries, different jurisdictions with different employment regulations.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 15:34
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This has turned into a very interesting debate. On balance, I have great sympathy for Piet. Regardless of what "would" have happened now under the present circumstance, I believe he is right that the lack of backbone amongst our pilots overall has led to this denouement of our COS. Unfortunately, once they began training local pilots, added bases and then selectively played one group against another over the past 25 years, the outcome is not in doubt (just to be clear, I am not picking on the local pilots, many of whom I consider dear colleagues....just that their situation means they would always collectively be more prone to agree to play the company's game, as this is their home and they really don't have any other option).

The real problem was that on a few specific issues (Trainers joining against a ban), we really did shoot ourselves in the foot. I know from the inside that prior to the defections, the company was in a world of hurt with their training capability (PC was throwing his toys against the wall daily on this point). They were even considering contracting with outside vendors to do the training. Once the defectors made their move, the company's biggest problem was solved. I suppose the karma aspect is that they are suffering the pay cuts now like all the others, so they ironically enabled the company to prevent proper improvement to our contracts, contracts that may have changed just enough to more legally protect what we had. Too late now.

Ultimately, I believe it's all too late. If you look at the history of CX since the early 90's, it has been the slow implementation of the "death of a thousand cuts" strategy to bring us to the point we are at today. I must admit it took longer than I thought it would, but it has now reached a point that there is truly nothing left to cut.

The only strength the pilots have remaining is to leave. Hopefully there will be a resurgence in our industry that leaves CX management on the back foot. If there is a better option going forward (or even a similar option), I suspect that many will not forget what CX has done and will leave and take that option. Who could possibly trust their careers, their family's future and security to what is obviously a cold and heartless organisation, one that will victimise you at any time they wish if they choose to make an example of you. There can surely be no point in enduring in HK with such an employer.

In closing, I think Piet largely represents the more honest assessment of the situation, and for anyone left at CX, or who moves to another airline at some point, his sentiments represent the dynamic that would have likely resulted in a better outcome for us all. Again, it's too late now for such hopes at CX.

Last edited by mngmt mole; 11th Nov 2020 at 16:50.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 15:53
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Very good discussion above. And mngmt mole - good post.

The interesting thing now is, as opposed to the good old days pre golden opportunity for management (bat flu), now we are all on the same sh!thouse deal....

Cathay's old 'divide and conquer' strategy is now null and void.

We now have the opportunity, particularly in 2 years for some of us, to unite and stick it to these bar stewards.

Let's hope this is progress. Maybe I'm clutching at straws!
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 16:49
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Flying Clog. I would like to think you are right, but in two years the terms get even worse (for most) as the housing extension expires....resulting in another significant cut in remuneration. It will take a long while to begin recouping even that amount, never mind the lost salary. I'm sorry to be so negative, but I am at least realistic. The "career" at CX is finished. The only real power you have is in leaving...
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 17:22
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Totally agree.

But maybe there is hope left for those of us not fortunate enough to leave in 2 years with a a few flats paid off.

There is the opportunity for those remaining to at least all be angry for the same reason for once, and unite!
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Old 12th Nov 2020, 00:40
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Its a massive hill to climb. A 50% salary cut needs a 100% raise to recover parity. Or 6% annually for 12 years. Tweak the numbers for your own package and years to run. Then add inflation and the conclusion is stark.
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Old 12th Nov 2020, 03:51
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"The reason why they chose to do the same job for less was that it was paying more than the same job they were already doing. Probably the same reason the A scalers took the jobs as well"

Freehills, that is a very astute comment. Now tell me, how could an A scale pilot prevent someone from joining on a much better package than they already had? They can't. It is completely ludicrous to suggest it was the fault of the A scale pilots that many joined the lesser B scale. The reality is it is simpler to blame someone else.
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Old 12th Nov 2020, 04:33
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Flying Clog

I suggest all of those who joined on POS18 are very happy the company breached the contracts and have arse raped most of us. They get to keep their jobs and their conditions.

I always thought POS18 was a contract for someone with no experience who would use CX as a stepping stone before moving onto a real company. This now applies to all of us. I'm working on my CV and adding up my log book. Then I'll be joining the agencies lists for when things are picking up. CX is now just a stepping stone for me.
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Old 12th Nov 2020, 04:51
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I expect it will be a step down rather than up. But maybe at least closer home.


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