Thursday, 2 April 2009

Was this a joke?

I am still hoping this is an April Fool's joke from Business 24-7, but quite frankly, it's not funny. Apart from the laughingly biased reporting. And I didn't think anyone at Business 24-7 had a sense of humour anyway....

Emirates has offered cabin crew voluntary unpaid leave starting May 2009, from one to six months.

An Emirates spokesperson said: "After a careful review of our operational requirements, we have decided to offer our cabin crew staff the opportunity to apply for unpaid leave on a voluntary basis, starting from May 2009. In anticipation of our growing fleet, Emirates' recruitment efforts over the past 12 months have been highly successful in meeting our operational requirements. Combined with a sharp drop in cabin crew attrition, we now find ourselves in a position to be more flexible as an employer.

"We believe some of our staff will welcome the opportunity to take time off to pursue personal interests such as studies, hobbies, or spend time with family and friends.

"There are limited slots available, depending on seniority and the aircraft type the crew is trained to operate on. Cabin crew may opt for unpaid leave from a period of one month, up to a maximum of six months. While on leave, they will still be employees of the airline."


Please can someone assure us that Emirates don't really think that six months unpaid time out to pursue basket-weaving and navel gazing is what their trolley dollies want?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

i blame ITP.

there i've said it.

Anonymous said...

Better to be offered unpaid leave than be fired and actually a lot of people like the option and take advantage of the time to travel or pursue some other interest.

What cabin crew do find irritating though is being called trolley dollies, so thanks for your concern but you're a jerk.

Anonymous said...

Not quite sure what has upset you about this.

It is voluntary. Jobs, medical coverage, travel benefits are protected. I know a number of crew who will be happy for a few months with family or to travel for a decent period of time.

You want to really see how gently the media treats EK - try investigating 407 from Melbourne on 20/3.

Anonymous said...

Redundancies (voluntary or otherwise) should mean payouts to staff. Unpaid leave doesn't help them financially.

Anonymous said...

i guess unpaid leave is better than unpaid work...

Anonymous said...

There is a word for such leave - it's called a Sabbatical. University professors do it all the time when they want to pursue other interests but still want a job to come back to.

I think it's great that EK is developed enough as a company to offer unpaid leave or sabbaticals. Sometimes you just want a break but don't want to burn your bridges.

Plus no one says you can't make money during this time. You can choose to work as a bartender and make Mai Tais on a beach in the Bahamas - if you want to, that is.

Anonymous said...

02 April, 2009 14:13

'a lot of people like the option and take advantage of the time to travel or pursue some other interest.'

Other Interests? like what, chicken, beef, debt, starvation?

Anonymous said...

under UAE labour law, you can't work for someone else if you're sponsored?

indiancurry said...

Me thinks with the amount of surprises in Dubai everyday (Unlike the Summer Surprises), it's better to have a legal contract before going on leave. Otherwise you might find, after your return, that your place has been taken up by some wheelie dollie who is paid much less than your trollie dollie package.

Of course, with the contacts in various countries, you can always work as casual staff in holiday destinations taking care of obnoxious Arab tourists.

nzm said...

Anon @ 03 April, 2009 01:26:

There's nothing to say that the staff is required to stay in the UAE during the unpaid leave period.

They could go elsewhere and work for that time. All accom, benefits and seniority levels are being retained whilst on leave and upon return to work.

*******************

Smart move by EK - better to ask staff for this than to tell them that they no longer have jobs. Saves having to train newbies when the time comes to ramp up again.

If I was an EK employee with some spare dosh in the bank, I'd be taking up the offer and going on an extended vacation!

Anonymous said...

Anon @21.59 - not everyone blows all their money and is desperate at the idea of not being paid for a few months. You can take advantage of the travel benefits, maybe improve your foreign language skills, do some charity work, study, or stay home and watch TV. Other interests. Offering the option of extended unpaid leave is a positive strategy to avoid layoffs. A lot of people take the option, particularly longer term employees, and reduce the need for layoffs.

Anonymous said...

jeez - the thing about this press release is that EK are dressing this up as some forward thinking management strategy rather than admitting it is because their planes are half full and they are struggling. It is utter bs.

i would stress as a journo who has dealt with EK that if you dare say anything they dont like they turn into evil fuckers.

their cabin crew are v peo tho...

Anonymous said...

Looks like some are leaving for good:

http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/emirates-pilots-resign-after-melbourne-airport-incident-20090403-9lxh.html

Anonymous said...

This is nothing compared to all newspapers censoring the khda.gov.ae report that shows more than 90% of Dubai schools are below standards of education although they charge their students the highest rates in the world. Still, most private school teachers are the least paid, overworked and as unlucky as construction workers.

Anonymous said...

@ 03 April, 2009 11:00

it appears they used the pilots as scapegoats...

EB247 is the most bullshit newspaper. it probably took liberty to change Emirates Airlines statement into some Dubai positive spin. EB247 strategy is all positive news about Dubai, no negative news.

Anonymous said...

Some may have a bit of trouble getting back to England according to this...

http://thedailydune.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

Good stuff from GN.....getting better every day, well done Francis!!

http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Environment/10301055.html

Anonymous said...

nothing like a vox pop in the morning

Anonymous said...

12.22 - 90% of schools are below standard? Really? I've read the reports and you're not even close. And presumably you would label yourself a 'journalist'. I think a long and happy career at Emirates Business 24/7 awaits you.

Anonymous said...

better than working for KT whose leading business story is a press release that has a byline. and no editor has noticed it. Not one extra quote from the company to justify that byline.
do you want the date? Yes I work at 24/7 and all of us got the same release.
Many of the papers here carry business press releases with a byline.
So does wire news - that includes all agencies. It is appalling.
At 24/7, we are not allowed to use releases beyond the same day unlike others who slip it in two days later to fill the page.
besides I think that EK is doing great with its policy.
I know enough people who are just laid off. Period.
while on the topic, do take off Emirates Today and Evening Post as newspapers on the DMO list of publications.
Give us a link to our home page guys so that people also get a chance to read what we do :-)
and judge for themselves when a release gets a byline elsewhere

Anonymous said...

@12.22 - Six schools were given unsatisfactory ratings. Six. Four were outstanding, all the others were good or acceptable.
The inspectors, all of whom were very experienced and had been brought in from the UK and Europe, were working to international standards.

Idiot.

Anonymous said...

@1047

Given the control of information, the general connivance of the ex-pat population and the need to over-promote Dubai, I wouldn't trust any official reports out of Dubai.

Dubai is built on lies and it is everyone interests to persist with the BS.

Do you run a school?

(and no, I'm not 12.22).

Anonymous said...

@12:45 - No, I just read the report before opening my mouth. I agree that you have to look carefully at the source, but in the end, what would you like the media to do? Write a story about what is actually in the official government report? Or ignore what it says, and write an opinion piece / invent facts based on our own view of how we think the city and country are doing? Isn't that what we've got this blog for?

Anonymous said...

I agree that official figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, but to arbitrarily decide that less than 10% of schools failing should become 90%? That's just dumb.

I do think there's a valid point here though. The details of the methodology used in the inspections are very sketchy, yet none of the papers appear to have bothered to look into it. One schoopl with a bad review is threatening to sue, saying the inspectors couldn't even get its address right, yet there appears to be no questioning of how they arrived at these decisions. Maybe that doesn't fit with Good News pledges.

Anonymous said...

But that's the whole point - journalism in Dubai is there to just rubber stamp the authorities or to promote the place.

So, hardly any proper investigation ever takes place.

In such a situation a wild unsubstantiated rumour has almost as much validity as official sources.

That's the failure of censorship and control - no-one believes anything and it's impossible to wade through the bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Great idea. Get all your staff to go AWOL for a bit and then when you find you don't need them anymore, just don't hire them again. Maybe they should just call it voluntary redundancy like anywhere else in the world.

I'd be extra cautious though about leaving the country for a six month sabbatical though. Go look at the red writing at the bottom of your residency visa....

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

AMG and ADMC to talk co-operation
http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2009/4/pages/12042009/04132009_ecd6227d9e7f42b29f881dcb4b59dc5d.aspx

Could ADMC be buying out AMG? Wouldn't surprise me...

Anonymous said...

How do we get in touch with one of the writers of this blog?

any email address?

reply at a.ahmed09@yahoo.com

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Just noticed that Motivate has followed Emirates lead, with one month voluntary unpaid leave

trinklebean said...

Rather less than one month, actually.