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EK: Enough is Enough

Middle East Many expats still flying in Knoteetingham. Regional issues can be discussed here.

EK: Enough is Enough

Old 7th Apr 2017, 10:44
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Dubai, UAE
Posts: 71
EK: Enough is Enough

Since EK recognised they have a problem in the way they deal with their flight and cabin crew a couple of years ago we have seen numerous changes that have now escalated to a new level of disrespect and madness. Here's a basic summary:

- Contractual violation of leave days. Every pilot is entitled to 42 days leave a year. I am still to meet anyone who has been allowed to take their contractual leave in full for the last 3 years.

- Discrimination in regards to age. The career of some of the most experienced FO in the company has been targeted by a discriminating and non-sense policy of 35 and 32 years of age for a chance at an upgrade, which has kick-started the lowest levels of morale ever seen in the airline.

- Commanders with over 8-10 years experience in the company are being demoted after having been flying into the most challenging destinations on the network without any issues citing concerns over their overall experience and capabilities.

- The contractual accommodation allowance has been denied to existing employees on company accommodation. Now pilots and their families have to live where the company decides without being given any alternatives. Pilot has no choice and no say whatsoever.

- EK is hiring experienced new entry pilots at a much higher pay scale and improved conditions. Furthermore, current EK pilots with equivalent or higher experience are being denied the same deal. A 4 year FO who quits and gets hired again would earn more money. ????

- A commuting freighter contract has been offered - after many requests from pilots to consider it. It offers absolutely no benefit to the employee and only targets to save money for EK. It does not allow in any way, other than in the short term, a pilot with a family to commute.

- Cabin Crew have all of the sudden lost a massive healthcare benefit and are liable for 30% of their medical expenses at hospitals and external clinics. This could mean bills of thousands of dirhams whilst no real alternative is being offered.

- In the meantime flying hours are as high as they have ever been with Captains flying anywhere in the region of 90-120 block hours per month and FO in the region of 75-90 hours per month.


Current situation breaches the limits of respect and employment ethics.

The question is... have we finally reached the point of no return? Anyone thinks it is reversible?
This is now officially a race to the bottom.
aussiefarmer is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 11:36
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dubai
Posts: 14
In the words of John Henry, the owner of Liverpool FC, when Arsenal FC tried to steal Luis Suarez for £40,000,001:
"What are they smoking over there at the Emirates?"
Toledo is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 11:46
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: lagos
Posts: 759
Rowdy times ahead...
pfvspnf is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 11:58
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London
Posts: 28
The higher salary offered to new joiners could easily fall under the discrimination header!
LivingINtheDream is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 14:27
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: london
Posts: 103
Do you guys think this is some sick ploy to make people resign as they will be doing some major down sizing or something ?? Its the only reasoning I can see for that pathetic offer and further disrespect towards their pilots..
Jetkopite is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 15:34
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: In Fresh Air
Posts: 295
46000? That's somewhere around the basic for a 10yr captain. Oh believe me, they can find even more ways to squeeze the lemon. The least of which would be a real cut in money paid out. We'll let them figure out for themselves other lemon squeezing.
Panther 88 is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 16:32
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UAE
Posts: 275
Do you guys think this is some sick ploy to make people resign as they will be doing some major down sizing or something ?? Its the only reasoning I can see for that pathetic offer and further disrespect towards their pilots..
I've thought of that many times in the past few years!
777-200LR is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 17:05
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: uganda
Posts: 15
war on the pilots

there is no other explanation. we've been belittled and humiliated at every turn

- no pay rise for 5 yrs (only 15% for new joiners?!)
- trainer pay cut 50%
- hours gone from 75 to 125
- days off gone from 15 to 7
- leave gone from 42 to forced leave of 7
- just culture to punitive
- freighter contract for imbeciles

experience doesn't count for anything till the next smoldering hole ...
desertbob is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 17:35
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Inmate of District 11
Posts: 442
What really gets me is why sooo many people here (these forums), moan about what was already being reported (right here) almost a decade ago as the airline started to decline.

You chose to come, you were warned, you need to live by the hand you dealt yourself.

Don't get me wrong, I too would love more money, fewer hours and time at home. The changes you call for were discussed years ago, things aren't going to change, never have and most likely never will. Moaning about the worsening T&Cs here will be pointless. Your call will not be heard, your anger and or pain will be noted and laughed at by those you seek to discredit.

After almost 2 decades in the desert, let me tell you that you have 2 choices. If you haven't worked out what your choices are then you shouldn't be flying aeroplanes here. If you do know what choices are available to you, chose one and live with it.

Being here on Prune moaning is honestly lowering the experience of pilots coming to the desert AND making yours and my job harder. Harder for the company AND consequently harder for you.

I am not writing here to defend the company, but I am writing to state that all the moaning has been echoing around the Prune vault for years, it's pointless repeated moaning.

Rather than discredit the company about how bad they are doing, try to create and comment in threads about how they can be more positive. Simply stating money, less hours is about as ineffective as is current policy and action to stop the rot.

Jack
jack schidt is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 18:10
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Dubai
Posts: 110
Merger on the cards?

I think they're restructuring for a potential merger. As far as they're concerned the more that leave voluntarily the better.
Buford is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 20:01
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: In Fresh Air
Posts: 295
Originally Posted by Buford View Post
I think they're restructuring for a potential merger. As far as they're concerned the more that leave voluntarily the better.
Does that mean if there is a merger, we won't be able to discuss the airline on the Prune anymore like our buds down the road can't do? That will solve all their problems of retention and recruitment. Remember, it's our fault for the lack of experienced candidates.

There has to be some sanity to their madness at the upper atmosphere at the bouncy castle. Can they really be that tone deaf to see what the conditions are on the "shop floor"?

But really, the Jack S. is correct. Was no one listening or paying attention? From my perspective, things went down the crapper in early 2009. I wonder how many joiners we have had since then? Eight years we have been flying at least 90 hours with relatively little increase in the pay package. Those who have stayed, have done so for their own personal reasons (like me). But there are a lot of new names on here that are now opening their eyes. There have been relatively few alternatives from 2009 until the last year or two for individuals to leave. Now, not so much? Just a few thoughts. My days are numbered here..........and they have been informed.
Panther 88 is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2017, 04:56
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uae
Posts: 2,477
I agree with Jack. New hires think it's all new stuff happening ,but it's all old.

Merger!!! Look out, no one is safe . In the ME money talks. There could be massive redundancies.

Enjoy the ride !
fatbus is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2017, 20:21
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 6
It’s been just under two years since I left EK and I was on a stopover catching up with friends still stuck there this week. What is extremely sad to see is how much it has changed in the relatively short time I’ve been gone and that the management, in their apparent wisdom, still seem hell bent on finding new ways of alienating their employees.

One ex colleague of the EK grinding machine who is about to join us was told in his exit interview by his CP that the cause of his workload and the lack of pilots joining was down to message boards of which PPRuNe was highlighted. The CP that briefly said goodbye to me didn’t tell me this but he had already told me previously that I had a choice which I duly exercised.

Now I’m sitting on the outside and hearing of the antics going on this week, I thought I’d give a little external perspective on what I feel is a purely management induced problem regarding recruitment.

The crewing crises really got going due to the financial crisis post 2008. I surmise that AAR via TCAS (I’m sure sanctioned by STC) issued that email saying due to the current financial situation the pilots must become more productive for no change in remuneration, to help the company in its hour of need. Of course we all knew that this was another disingenuous way of saying we want more productivity for free and we have no intention of returning it because we will make an even bigger profit and as management get even bigger bonuses, which they duly did. The flight time limitations were set as targets and these could be exceeded using the “F” word “factoring.” But the “F” word effect upon the crew was “fatigue,” however this latter word is not in the EK management dictionary of words so it doesn’t exist.

In order to enhance the productivity the new rostering system was also introduced. The lead up by management at wash-ups was this was a life changing event and not to be so negative. It was a life changing event and as a result, many hundreds of experienced pilots have left since. The secretive company implemented rules upon rules upon the rules and the many other limitations had made this new system a nightmare for crew. A simple swap for a subtle lifestyle change was now severely thwarted by some unknown senseless rule, one of many invented to prevent any quality of life being achieved.

On top of this there have been many other mindless rules and processes implemented even in the time I’ve been out of place, but no point in highlighting them here as they’ve all been spoken of before.

So it seems all the management are now whining that PPRuNe and the likes are the cause of the recruitment problem, so here is the crux of the recruitment problem. When you (management) had the chance to fix the crew ratio, you got greedy and didn’t! You managed by presuming that if you ran X crew ratio and lowered the leave then you would have enough, ops normal every year, push those limits, grind that crew. People vented their frustration here because you simply could not be trusted anymore. You didn’t blatantly lie but you have been disingenuous with the truth.

The mass exodus of experienced pilots with such negative stories of how you treat your staff has ensured that PPRuNe is now not your problem.The industry is small relative to other industries. My current company has 4 ex EK employees and any of the younger guys who think they want to fall for all your PR spin on how wonderful it is in DXB/EK need only need to talk to any of the 4 ex EK lads and consequently they make their own opinion, none have left. My previous employer to EK has not had any go to EK for over three years (pre 2008 there were around 12 per year). Once again word of mouth and speaking to ex EK employees or even current employees is sufficient to give any sane pilot a first-hand account of the working reality and practices of this company

I do feel for my friend’s and the many other decent colleagues I used to work with who are still trapped there. The erosion of all facets of the remuneration package coupled with the rate of inflation simply means that the majority are looking elsewhere. They will take their experience with them and pass that on as well in their new company. And just to think, 10 years ago there were so many pilots wanting to join what was a reputable company and now, today they are scraping the barrel doing roadshows, even asking current employees to tell a friend. Perhaps that’s the problem then, employees should be banned from telling a friend?
positive stability is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2017, 02:40
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dubai
Posts: 125
Why isn't there a like button?
Visual Procedures is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2017, 03:17
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dubai
Posts: 38
EK Woes

Originally Posted by positive stability View Post
It’s been just under two years since I left EK and I was on a stopover catching up with friends still stuck there this week. What is extremely sad to see is how much it has changed in the relatively short time I’ve been gone and that the management, in their apparent wisdom, still seem hell bent on finding new ways of alienating their employees.

One ex colleague of the EK grinding machine who is about to join us was told in his exit interview by his CP that the cause of his workload and the lack of pilots joining was down to message boards of which PPRuNe was highlighted. The CP that briefly said goodbye to me didn’t tell me this but he had already told me previously that I had a choice which I duly exercised.

Now I’m sitting on the outside and hearing of the antics going on this week, I thought I’d give a little external perspective on what I feel is a purely management induced problem regarding recruitment.

The crewing crises really got going due to the financial crisis post 2008. I surmise that AAR via TCAS (I’m sure sanctioned by STC) issued that email saying due to the current financial situation the pilots must become more productive for no change in remuneration, to help the company in its hour of need. Of course we all knew that this was another disingenuous way of saying we want more productivity for free and we have no intention of returning it because we will make an even bigger profit and as management get even bigger bonuses, which they duly did. The flight time limitations were set as targets and these could be exceeded using the “F” word “factoring.” But the “F” word effect upon the crew was “fatigue,” however this latter word is not in the EK management dictionary of words so it doesn’t exist.

In order to enhance the productivity the new rostering system was also introduced. The lead up by management at wash-ups was this was a life changing event and not to be so negative. It was a life changing event and as a result, many hundreds of experienced pilots have left since. The secretive company implemented rules upon rules upon the rules and the many other limitations had made this new system a nightmare for crew. A simple swap for a subtle lifestyle change was now severely thwarted by some unknown senseless rule, one of many invented to prevent any quality of life being achieved.

On top of this there have been many other mindless rules and processes implemented even in the time I’ve been out of place, but no point in highlighting them here as they’ve all been spoken of before.

So it seems all the management are now whining that PPRuNe and the likes are the cause of the recruitment problem, so here is the crux of the recruitment problem. When you (management) had the chance to fix the crew ratio, you got greedy and didn’t! You managed by presuming that if you ran X crew ratio and lowered the leave then you would have enough, ops normal every year, push those limits, grind that crew. People vented their frustration here because you simply could not be trusted anymore. You didn’t blatantly lie but you have been disingenuous with the truth.

The mass exodus of experienced pilots with such negative stories of how you treat your staff has ensured that PPRuNe is now not your problem.The industry is small relative to other industries. My current company has 4 ex EK employees and any of the younger guys who think they want to fall for all your PR spin on how wonderful it is in DXB/EK need only need to talk to any of the 4 ex EK lads and consequently they make their own opinion, none have left. My previous employer to EK has not had any go to EK for over three years (pre 2008 there were around 12 per year). Once again word of mouth and speaking to ex EK employees or even current employees is sufficient to give any sane pilot a first-hand account of the working reality and practices of this company

I do feel for my friend’s and the many other decent colleagues I used to work with who are still trapped there. The erosion of all facets of the remuneration package coupled with the rate of inflation simply means that the majority are looking elsewhere. They will take their experience with them and pass that on as well in their new company. And just to think, 10 years ago there were so many pilots wanting to join what was a reputable company and now, today they are scraping the barrel doing roadshows, even asking current employees to tell a friend. Perhaps that’s the problem then, employees should be banned from telling a friend?

Very well written PS.

Accurate, honest, succinct and eloquently crafted. I cannot add anything to your post.

I have been out of EK for 5 years now, to all my former colleagues I can attest that there is life after EK and it is good. I do not miss the rostering, lack of leave, fatigue and Management spin one bit!

They have brought it upon themselves!
EK_Bus Driver is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2017, 03:20
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Outta town
Posts: 154
I attended the roadshows last year. I thought the salary had increased. Not so. The DEC 46000 aed quoted as salary includes per diems for 90 block hours. The " basic salary" is somewhat less , and as an average you will not be paid 46000 due leave , sim etc.

They also stated only 25 days annual leave could be booked. The allocation of the remaining 14 days remained rather vague.

Many pilots hate their management,enjoy flying. EK pilots seem to have lost the love of flying , full stop.
highfive is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2017, 04:13
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Asia
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by highfive View Post
..
They also stated only 25 days annual leave could be booked. The allocation of the remaining 14 days remained rather vague.

Many pilots hate their management,enjoy flying. EK pilots seem to have lost the love of flying , full stop.
Last year I had a grand total of 30 days of leave, all assigned by the company as they saw fit. This year, grand total of 30 again..
Complained to my immediate manager asking where's my contractual 42 days of leave?
The response: "You've got 30 days which is what we're obligated to give you according to UAE labour law"
What about the ever growing leave bank?
"You can always sell your days"
kcar is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2017, 04:28
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stratosphere
Posts: 223
Dear EK Management,

As mentioned above, PPRuNe is not your biggest problem. The posters here are only telling the truth, as they see it. You've made the truth: cope with it.

Your biggest problem is also potentially your biggest asset: your staff. Have them on-side and they are your biggest advertisement, both for the brand and recruitment. Get them off-side and you will reap the whirlwind...just like is happening now.

Was speaking to a senior manager (but clearly not senior enough) in the flight ops world the other day...I've never seen him so flat. I got the feeling they are out of ideas or the ability to implement the ideas they have and are just resigned to riding the juggernaut into the ground.

The proof is the 300-400 flights/month that are not crewed, the attrition rate and the inability to recruit...why is this all so? You know why. Why is this the best option?

TM
trimotor is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:54
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Tranquility Base
Posts: 39
I can positively confirm that EK's reputation as an employer with regards to dealing with crews and the lack of respect for a contract is a barrier in recruiting people from my flying environment.

The only way out as I see it is to introduce some massive overtime payment. That would mean basic salary covers some 70h a month, and every hour above it is paid with at least 150% of the hourly rate until 70h, and from 80h on it should be 200%.

This would show a clear commitment from the company to bring workload levels down, by putting this into contract (not into some unilaterally changeable conditions of service).

Additional things would be holiday days give hours credit, sim, groundschool etc give hours credit, etc. Actually all rather standard things.

May be some sort of joining bonus is also needed.
1201alarm is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2017, 07:04
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: UAE
Posts: 960
They don't want to bring the hours down, they are quite happy for us to fly 95 hours a month. The problem is even 95 hours a month isn't enough to crew all the flights at the moment.

Make no mistake, if you join EK 95 hours a month is what you can expect to fly.
BigGeordie is offline  

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