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Do NOT work here - CAL

Old 14th Dec 2018, 01:10
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Exclamation Do NOT work here - CAL

Hello all,

This is a thread that has been started for information purposes only, passing experience and a word of warning IF you choose to work for this particular company. Which I don't suggest. Please feel free to contribute your stories and experience when working for China Airlines (Taiwan). This is a heads up with what you will most probably expect working there.

There will be factual information shown here, no opinions or name calling will be allowed.

This is a duty of care to all our fellow aviators and colleagues.
Capt. BWC is offline  
Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:26
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Then Why don't you start ?
fatbus is offline  
Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:29
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Originally Posted by fatbus View Post
Then Why don't you start ?
Thanks fatbus..

Was waiting for the moderator to approve the thread. Info is coming, patients is a virtue.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 02:11
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BWC . Sim didn’t go well ?
Cloudtopper is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 02:13
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Join Date: Dec 2018
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Speaking from experience, DO NOT work for CAL

Hello everyone,

I couldn’t really pass on the opportunity of sharing my experience of 3 years working for CAL.
I was employed there as a Captain for 3 years. Do not come here unless you are jobless, which is going to be hard in today’s industry unless you are not rated on a Boeing or an Airbus.
First things first: the advertised salary is already very low, but you will be on training pay (and you only learn this when you sign the contract in Taipei the day you report for duty) which is not even half of the advertised salary. And they will collect taxes on that salary, so you can expect roughly to be making about $1500 for an FO and about $3000 for a Captain for a period of 4 to 6 months. It doesn’t matter if you are rated or not guys, you will endure a whole training period of at least 4 months with that kind of pay, you have been warned. They are compulsive liars in anything they say or do. They will have you sign a bond if you are NTR that is ILLLEGAL (according a local lawyer in taiwan who actually won a case against them). And you will have to provide them with an amount of cash that will vary according to...God only knows what. Some guys were asked $6k, some guys $13k and I heard they are asking some guys close to $20k. Depends on your face I guess...
Then the training part. They are racist to the core, although senior managers, FO’s, and the whole local crowd can barely speak English and should not be awarded a Level 4. Expect it to be more like hazing or a rite of passage. They memorize everything, and they are unbeatable at that game, so they expect you to do the same. Don’t even think of asking questions during training, for them it means you don’t know and they will ask you even more questions. They do not follow manufacturers’ manuals, they have invented their own manuals and procedures. If you dare to raise your concerns, they will take it as an offense and an act of defiance, although they themselves have no idea what they’re talking about. Let’s be clear, there is no training. Not for you, not for them. There is no learning culture in CAL, there never was and there will never be one. The statistics of the incidents support this: in my 3 years in CAL there was an average of one incident every 2 months, some more serious than others, but in that sense, it’s closer to Lion Air than it is to EVA. You can look them up on AvHerald, all this is true. Incompetence seasoned with racism and bullying is a lifestyle in CAL, from the very senior VP to the baggage handler.

Let’s assume you finish the training, and you wonder how your life is going to be. As a Captain, you are told that you will be on a “special watch”, meaning that you only get to fly with their “trusted” FO’s whose role is to report to the CP anything you say or do. Just to make sure you stick to what they want you to do. Most of these guys are “Relief Pilots” on the Airbus or Boeing widebody fleets, but they have their trusted lot in the 737 as well. They never trust an expat. Especially if he’s Western. Sorry gals, no game here. They are mysogynistic with expat women pilots, I neve saw one here.
And this is for an undetermined amount of time, unless you go an complain about it. In which case they may just continue the treatment or chose to give you their local “fresh off the oven” talent: guys with 250 TT on the right seat of a 330, 777 or 747 that can barely speak English and come out of a useless and endless training period where the only thing they learnt is how to please a bully instructor. Not to mention that some of these guys are well in their 30’s and when you ask them “what were you doing before CAL?” their answer is, 90% of the time : “I was a physical education teacher”, or “a Marine biologist”. Why did you decide to become a pilot: “oh, CAL opened a cadet program and I thought the money is very good”. And it is indeed in a country where the average professional is paid $2000/mo on a good salary. So you are given to choose between the Fleet Office’s snitches or the local “scientists” or “athletes” that became First Officers.
I was fortunate enough never to be called up for anything to the office, but from guys that got into minor instances, they are just a bunch of hungry hyenas. They will try to blame you for anything they see reflected in their sacro saint FOQA. And from their on, it’s a downslope race to the bottom. Any FO report on you will be taken as the truth, even though some of them lack the most basic problem solving skills that you will ever see. Once again, I never had to go to the office for this reason, but I know many guys that were reported on their back. If you choose to work for these people, be ready to put up with this.
All but 2 expat FO’s that joined when I did left. Not one finished even the first year. I will skip the details of the things they endured, but they paid a very high price, I know one very nice guy went into a form of depression because he couldn’t take it anymore. They (CAL) are hideous when it comes to having some form of compassion. They are relentless to show you who is in power. They think they own you, and will do everything they can to prove it to you. One of the most ridiculous things they had is this “Improvement” or “feedback” forms that you as Captain had to fill for the FO’s. For an undetermined period, FO’s had to have a “feedback” form filled up by the Captains. Just imagine...

Finally, the commuting part. If the lady/guy that does the rostering likes you and is not under the Fleet Office directive to screw you, you pretty much get anything you ask for. BUT. You will commute on your days Off guys or your Annual Leave days. Meaning that, in my case, if I was in Europe, I had to waste one full day in my commute back to base in TPE. I know Korean and the Chinese lot give you the commuting days, but in CAL, it’s on your Off days. So if you’re lucky and they don’t dislike you (because they will never like you unless you’re Japanese and I will comment on this later on) you only loose one day, but you may loose 2 days if they give you a duty that doesn’t meet the minimum rest after you are back from home. And the Business Class thing is an absolute lie: if there are seats available and the station Staff are nice, you will be given one. If C class is full and/or the station staff don’t like you, they will upgrade passengers to C class and put you on Economy. Happened to me more than once. Luckily AMS staff are amazing and they did everything they could to put me in C class. Just to share with you, I was offloaded from the flight once and put on the freighter run via BKK & DWC to AMS. This is real guys. Like I said: do not trust them.

Most of the expats that joined when I joined have left except for a few guys that stick to it because they barely fly and are closer to retirement than pursuing a career, truth be told. For the few expats that got used to the bullying, slander and overall lack of respect over the years, I am lost for words. Some of them are Japanese. The Taiwanese have this unhealthy and strange relationship to the Japanese where they think of them as a superior caste. They will give the Japanese a special treatment and the rumor has it, even a higher pay. I could never prove this because, as you may expect, neither the Japs nor the company share this info.

So this is it guys...you have been warned. And the salary they advertise is a lie: they collect taxes on allowances (!) and this is the best part: if you don’t fly the minimum guaranteed hours (69 on the 330), they collect taxes that increase all the more the less you fly.

Good luck on your endeavors, but please, don’t go there. There are lots of other much better places to get a widebody command or a TR. Not to mention that the TR you get on a Taiwanese license is Non-I
Lokomoko is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 04:26
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Beyond the sea
Posts: 21
Tell us first sir
Reims_Rocket is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 06:26
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: vegas, not 'las', or 'bris', but the other one
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.......a word of warning IF you choose to work for this particular company. Which I don't suggest.....

There will be factual information shown here, no opinions or name calling will be allowed.

Fact or opinion?!?!?
mince is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 07:55
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Beyond the sea
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by Lokomoko View Post
Hello everyone,

I couldn’t really pass on the opportunity of sharing my experience of 3 years working for CAL.
I was employed there as a Captain for 3 years. Do not come here unless you are jobless, which is going to be hard in today’s industry unless you are not rated on a Boeing or an Airbus.
First things first: the advertised salary is already very low, but you will be on training pay (and you only learn this when you sign the contract in Taipei the day you report for duty) which is not even half of the advertised salary. And they will collect taxes on that salary, so you can expect roughly to be making about $1500 for an FO and about $3000 for a Captain for a period of 4 to 6 months. It doesn’t matter if you are rated or not guys, you will endure a whole training period of at least 4 months with that kind of pay, you have been warned. They are compulsive liars in anything they say or do. They will have you sign a bond if you are NTR that is ILLLEGAL (according a local lawyer in taiwan who actually won a case against them). And you will have to provide them with an amount of cash that will vary according to...God only knows what. Some guys were asked $6k, some guys $13k and I heard they are asking some guys close to $20k. Depends on your face I guess...
Then the training part. They are racist to the core, although senior managers, FO’s, and the whole local crowd can barely speak English and should not be awarded a Level 4. Expect it to be more like hazing or a rite of passage. They memorize everything, and they are unbeatable at that game, so they expect you to do the same. Don’t even think of asking questions during training, for them it means you don’t know and they will ask you even more questions. They do not follow manufacturers’ manuals, they have invented their own manuals and procedures. If you dare to raise your concerns, they will take it as an offense and an act of defiance, although they themselves have no idea what they’re talking about. Let’s be clear, there is no training. Not for you, not for them. There is no learning culture in CAL, there never was and there will never be one. The statistics of the incidents support this: in my 3 years in CAL there was an average of one incident every 2 months, some more serious than others, but in that sense, it’s closer to Lion Air than it is to EVA. You can look them up on AvHerald, all this is true. Incompetence seasoned with racism and bullying is a lifestyle in CAL, from the very senior VP to the baggage handler.

Let’s assume you finish the training, and you wonder how your life is going to be. As a Captain, you are told that you will be on a “special watch”, meaning that you only get to fly with their “trusted” FO’s whose role is to report to the CP anything you say or do. Just to make sure you stick to what they want you to do. Most of these guys are “Relief Pilots” on the Airbus or Boeing widebody fleets, but they have their trusted lot in the 737 as well. They never trust an expat. Especially if he’s Western. Sorry gals, no game here. They are mysogynistic with expat women pilots, I neve saw one here.
And this is for an undetermined amount of time, unless you go an complain about it. In which case they may just continue the treatment or chose to give you their local “fresh off the oven” talent: guys with 250 TT on the right seat of a 330, 777 or 747 that can barely speak English and come out of a useless and endless training period where the only thing they learnt is how to please a bully instructor. Not to mention that some of these guys are well in their 30’s and when you ask them “what were you doing before CAL?” their answer is, 90% of the time : “I was a physical education teacher”, or “a Marine biologist”. Why did you decide to become a pilot: “oh, CAL opened a cadet program and I thought the money is very good”. And it is indeed in a country where the average professional is paid $2000/mo on a good salary. So you are given to choose between the Fleet Office’s snitches or the local “scientists” or “athletes” that became First Officers.
I was fortunate enough never to be called up for anything to the office, but from guys that got into minor instances, they are just a bunch of hungry hyenas. They will try to blame you for anything they see reflected in their sacro saint FOQA. And from their on, it’s a downslope race to the bottom. Any FO report on you will be taken as the truth, even though some of them lack the most basic problem solving skills that you will ever see. Once again, I never had to go to the office for this reason, but I know many guys that were reported on their back. If you choose to work for these people, be ready to put up with this.
All but 2 expat FO’s that joined when I did left. Not one finished even the first year. I will skip the details of the things they endured, but they paid a very high price, I know one very nice guy went into a form of depression because he couldn’t take it anymore. They (CAL) are hideous when it comes to having some form of compassion. They are relentless to show you who is in power. They think they own you, and will do everything they can to prove it to you. One of the most ridiculous things they had is this “Improvement” or “feedback” forms that you as Captain had to fill for the FO’s. For an undetermined period, FO’s had to have a “feedback” form filled up by the Captains. Just imagine...

Finally, the commuting part. If the lady/guy that does the rostering likes you and is not under the Fleet Office directive to screw you, you pretty much get anything you ask for. BUT. You will commute on your days Off guys or your Annual Leave days. Meaning that, in my case, if I was in Europe, I had to waste one full day in my commute back to base in TPE. I know Korean and the Chinese lot give you the commuting days, but in CAL, it’s on your Off days. So if you’re lucky and they don’t dislike you (because they will never like you unless you’re Japanese and I will comment on this later on) you only loose one day, but you may loose 2 days if they give you a duty that doesn’t meet the minimum rest after you are back from home. And the Business Class thing is an absolute lie: if there are seats available and the station Staff are nice, you will be given one. If C class is full and/or the station staff don’t like you, they will upgrade passengers to C class and put you on Economy. Happened to me more than once. Luckily AMS staff are amazing and they did everything they could to put me in C class. Just to share with you, I was offloaded from the flight once and put on the freighter run via BKK & DWC to AMS. This is real guys. Like I said: do not trust them.

Most of the expats that joined when I joined have left except for a few guys that stick to it because they barely fly and are closer to retirement than pursuing a career, truth be told. For the few expats that got used to the bullying, slander and overall lack of respect over the years, I am lost for words. Some of them are Japanese. The Taiwanese have this unhealthy and strange relationship to the Japanese where they think of them as a superior caste. They will give the Japanese a special treatment and the rumor has it, even a higher pay. I could never prove this because, as you may expect, neither the Japs nor the company share this info.

So this is it guys...you have been warned. And the salary they advertise is a lie: they collect taxes on allowances (!) and this is the best part: if you don’t fly the minimum guaranteed hours (69 on the 330), they collect taxes that increase all the more the less you fly.

Good luck on your endeavors, but please, don’t go there. There are lots of other much better places to get a widebody command or a TR. Not to mention that the TR you get on a Taiwanese license is Non-I
...Non-ICAO
Thanks for the feedback sir!
Reims_Rocket is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 08:02
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Taipei
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by mince View Post
Fact or opinion?!?!?
FACT!

Illegal Bond.
It is Illegal under Taiwanese Labor Law. The Bond you sign on Day 1 (I came Type Rated), expires 3 years AFTER your Final Line Check. That check takes place 4-6 months after you sign the Bond.
Your work Contract expires 3 years to the Day after you start.
So your Bond expires 4-6 months after your contract ends. The Bond stipulates 3 years of servce, so you CAN NOT complete your Bond service obligation. Therefore, they keep your money. The Bond is designed specifically for this.
The Bond amount is discriminatory based on your Nationality and former airline.

Annual Leave.
​​​​​​Your contract states you are given 18 days in the first year, that starts to accumulate after 4 months of service. Yet their manual states leave accumulates after 4 months from FLC. So there is no way you can accumulate 18 days leave.

Rostering
100% correct. Corrupted to the core. And the fruit salad who builds the roster is way out of her depth.
2-3 days off, then a day of STBY or RSV, then home leave is very common.

My fleet Manager was a Midget Racist (no names allowed). No Common Sense or Practical approach to flying.
Friend just had an engine failure. Landed the plane safely, no injuries, no damage. Berated for not calling the Operations Department. The crew Spoke to Engineering (who sit next to Operations), spoke to the Company on Local base frequency. SATCOMM wasn't working, so he just landed the plane.
He was met by Fleet holding the FOM for failing to comply with company policy. Even after explaining their attempts to contact JC, "You have to contact the company, it is Policy."

This airline on average, has Killed 13 people per year, every year for the last 50 years. (verifiable fact).
TPE Flyer is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 08:41
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Here
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Sounds a lot like Vietnam airlines except less money and worse commuting.
BAe 146-100 is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 08:42
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Taipei
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Originally Posted by Cloudtopper View Post
BWC . Sim didn’t go well ?
Hey Smart Arse.

A SIM going well or not well in that company has nothing to do with Ability, Airmanship or compliance with any rules, policy or procedure.
I have seen incompetence rewarded and passed as well as Superior Ability failed and ridiculed because it is against some absurd Chinese Ideology.

​​​​
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 11:25
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Originally Posted by Reims_Rocket View Post
...Non-ICAO
Thanks for the feedback sir!
Exactly...cheers
Lokomoko is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 11:50
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Harare
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Originally Posted by Cloudtopper View Post
BWC . Sim didn’t go well ?
Like TPE flyer said, your sim performance has nothing to do with anything. There is no logic, there are no standards, there simply is no training. It’s a “like you/like you not” system, and they just get a boner when they fail an expat. In their deplorable and racist mentality, it proves to them they are better. So if someone is in a position to screw you and he can, he will. Period. Cheers...
Lokomoko is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2018, 21:19
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Utopia
Posts: 447
Sounds like an awesome airline to work for! Just don’t put your family on their planes on the way. The killing ratio, based on accidents, as announced here, are really nasty facts. Why in the world would any qualified pilot join such an outfit? This company sounds as bad as their other local company that has crashed two ATRs the last three years - killing everyone onboard!
Klimax is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2018, 02:03
  #15 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Grim Hex
Posts: 4
I was also working in China Airlines for a few years as an A330 Captain, based in Taipei, Taiwan. This is what I experienced when I was there.



@Cloudtopper, no problem with the sims, but thanks for checking....



The actual terms and conditions of your employment are different to what is stated in the letter of offer or even the recruiter for that matter. The letter of offer essentially says what you will earn and in what capacity, that’s it. On arrival, first day of duty, you sign the employment contract, then they will issue you a bond which you need to sign and pay several thousand USD’s up front ($9000 or $13000 depending if you negotiate the amount). Failure to do so, will null and void your contract. Nowhere was ANY information relating to a bond or advise about paying a bond. Especially coming with several thousand hours on type. This bond only applied to certain people. Just refer to what the other guys said. I was told by the Pilot Recruitment Manager, and I quote, “We don’t bond pilots from reputable airlines”. First taste of discrimination and a violation of their own Labour Laws relating to full disclosure of one’s employment terms.



Astronaut simulator training..pff.. who we kidding, I mean checking was a challenge. As the other guys have said, there is no training, English levels are rubbish and ego to competence ratio is askew. With the occasional shouting, although that was soon stopped when they were advised to refraine from doing that, they like to prey on the weak and the strong just have an attitude problem in their eyes. Basic Airbus concepts where unknown and grading heavily on opinion was standard. When you asked them to show you what or where it was, genuinely asking for the information, not being condescending, they would lose their face, go all quiet and just ignore you. Even if you asked via an email to the instructor directly, no reply. Line training, ETOPs, one of the astronaut instructors said, and I quote, ‘You foreigners use China Airlines as a training ground, and then leave’. I found that quite funny and puzzling. Welcome to CAL.

Training went for 3 months to the day almost and you are paid a ‘training salary’ which is taxed. This salary works out to be what Lokomoko said…Also, not disclosed prior to joing.



Line flying was challenging, you were not liked, not welcomed and it was not a healthy place to work. The technical log books were a mess, full of ‘VOID’ lines and signatures, falsifying Autoland entries to applying wrong MEL’s and not complying with ‘M’ procedures. I personally reported ‘Aileron Flutter’ as I experienced this in one of the A330’s. This aircraft flew for over a month before they changed the hydraulic jack. Just to name a few.



There were two ‘LINE’ groups (Line is an app they use for comms within the company for line pilots and management staff.) One group ‘Expat Pilots’ the other was a ‘local’ group. Full of union pilots with a racial disposition. Segregation was standard and essentially encouraged. Slander, racial disrespect, condescending remarks and finger pointing was a daily practice amongst the local pilot body, aimed directly at the expat pilot body. Accusations about leaving the cockpit dirty, foreign pilots do not plug in the headset after using their personal one, rumours about our salary to the days off we get. Yet arriving to an aircraft from a layover to find it still in the after landing configuration, spoilers still extended, radar and Xponder on and full cups of last night’s water and coffee sitting on top of the O2 mask lid. The Chief Pilot at the time would have FOs report to him about the expat Captains, in essence, a secret line check with a full report to the fleet management. When confronted, his face went bright red. Reporting expats was an SOP to them. The flying standards of a majority of the first officers was below standard and taking control was common. During the first year I was there, they had 2 runway excursions, 1 B777 and the other was a B744, and a tail strike on an A333 during command line training, when the IP took control, after the aircraft had landed and reverse thrust was deployed, then applied TOGA and took off, more concerned about triggering a FOQA event for a possible long landing, and damaging the pressure bulkhead in the process.

Changing roster assignments and confirming them without your knowledge. Blaming you for a ‘no show’ when in fact you never confirmed a duty change, and have the evidence to back your claim. This happened to a few guys including me. The excuse was that the cabin crew rostering department changed your schedule, because that makes a lot of sense. Very interesting, however we will still keep that on your file.



First Officer complained for 2 ˝ hours on a flight about foreigner salary, days off, overall simulator treatment, using the words, ‘I don’t want to fly with you foreigners, I want to fly with my own people, you come here and take our jobs, to name a few. When he was advised that he was to be offloaded and a call to the fleet office will occur, this 40-year-old ex-military pilot started to cry. Quality.



Corporate bullying was a common place, not paying your salary although giving you payslips, stealing your bond money and then putting it back into your account, also happened.



It was just an amazing and disappointing experience of how a race of people can be so nasty. A leopard doesn’t change its spots, this sorry company will have another hull loss, not a matter of if, but when.



As the guys have said, YOU have been warned.
Capt. BWC is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2018, 05:23
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Taipei
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
This company sounds as bad as their other local company that has crashed two ATRs the last three years - killing everyone onboard!
In the interest of full disclosure. The other local airline being referred to is Transasia. Had 2 fatal accidents within 6 months. After the second when they crashed into the Keelung River, all Pilots were required to undergo a SIM assessment. 10 failed the oral part and didn't even get into the SIM. 19 didn't turn up for various reasons. (3 different news sources quote these figures). I can't find the actual number of pilots that failed in the SIM, so wont quote a figure here.
One would seriously have to question the oversight of the regulator, the CAA for allowing such standards to flourish. These standards are on display again with their National carrier.
​​​​​
Lets see what the CAA do when presented with evidence of unsafe maintanence practises by the airline over the next few weeks.
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Old 17th Dec 2018, 05:46
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Beyond the sea
Posts: 21
Capt. BWC, that's enough reason to withdraw my application!
Reims_Rocket is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 10:35
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 36
Sounds a lot like a certain gigantic Chinese airline based in Guangzhou. The agencies advertise all over the internet things like reverse-roster bases in LAX and JFK which they have no intention of ever bringing to reality, and they “hunt” you constantly for something they can punish you for. No fairness, no one is on your side except you, and they do “chop sims” which are a guillotine on your flying career in China, if for some reason they don’t like you. The only positive is that they actually do come through with the $$. You often feel like you’re paying for it with your soul, however.
Birdstrike737 is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 11:08
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Taipei
Posts: 26
As accurate as Captain BWC is, they forgot to mention 1 item.

When you resign, you will not be paid from that moment. They will withhold your wage, even though illegal, and promise to pay you in full on the day you leave. "Please collect your final check in the Fleet Office on your final day.
FYI, there is no cheque, just bill for the training they provided you. Yes, they will ask you to give them more money as well as keep your bond and salary.

So by giving 1 months notice, you are actually forgoing 2 months wages.

As I stated, the only way to get your bond back is to renew your contract.
TPE Flyer is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 12:19
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Beyond the sea
Posts: 21
Before reading this I thought ek was the worst place for pilots
Reims_Rocket is offline  

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