Bracebrace wrote: ↑
05 May 2019, 11:04
I didn't read everything, but this remark is a different discussion.
Well, unfortunately this is the way aviation has evolved the last 30 years. Pilots, cabin crew, maintenance, desk people... we have all seen our working conditions deteriorate and it is not stopping. Unfortunately pilots and cabin crew are the ones sitting in the tube. Who is the most responsible for safety? Cabin crew in the end, to get the morning-beer drinking pax out. What are there working conditions? Shitty as hell.
The days of state funded national carriers is almost over. We are privatised. There is no reason why ATC should not be privatised as well. You can blame your boss as much as you want, you are in the wrong business. If he doesn't do it, the next one will. Not because he wants, because he has to, because it is his job. He might be able to do it in a more "fashioned" way, but he will do it.
Welcome to aviation. Either you stay and you accept, or you leave. Like many pilots, cabin crew, maintenance people have done. We all work 30' extra before and 30' extra after the flight compared to our rosters, we all have to give the last minute flexibility to the company (I just heard we went down 20% on crew per aircraft last year...), and we all get blamed in the end because we missed a single minute somewhere...
But I still love my job to death, and in some rather strange way, I love my company and want to make it work for the company.
I understand your "fight", and I respect it, I really do. Try as hard as you can. BUT, stop making my life shitty in the process. Because you are... and MY boss is requiring more flexibility from me as well, because of what YOU do. And I'm getting tired of it, my wife is getting tired of it, my kids are getting tired of it, and my boss does a fantastic job understanding this but still requires flexibility to handle what you create.
A good lesson for all those who want to join us.
I share your vision of things for our job. But that's not the case for everybody in aviation, let's be honest. Pilots for major airlines still have excellent working conditions and guess what, their airlines are still alive and kicking (with some down moments, like it has always been in aviation anyway). They still have excellent working conditions because they fought for that and they are united to do so.
For young(er) airlines, the story is indeed completely different. Poor contracts, no long term vision possible, different group of pilots created by management to avoid unions (or make them powerless because pilots are not united), no base guarantee, a pension at 65 y.o. (or more?) for less than 2000€/month in Belgium, should I continue? Yes, I'll add one last thing; in Belgium the cost of employment is HUGE, and airlines therefore need to make you work more, ask you more flexibility etc etc... in order to make it (or to make good numbers so their shareholders are happy at the end of the year).
Who is right and who is wrong? The guys who fought for their conditions or those who think their great flexibility is mandatory to keep their company alive? Well, guess what Air France, Lufthansa, KLM pilots will tell you from their swimming pool, retired with a good pension at 60 y.o.? And guess what you will think by then? Guess which airlines will still be alive by then? Norwegian or Air France...? And you know what, those KLM pilots who had to retire early work in Belgium, as freelancers with better conditions than yours (and of course taking the seat of belgian pilots)!! Ask yourself if you are really happy with this kind of situation, and if you still think your great flexibility will save your job. It just won't. (Or read extreme flexibility instead, I don't mean that all of us shouldn't accept any roster change or similar things that are part of our job).
These ATCO's are completely right to fight for their working conditions. All of us would do exactly the same in their position. They shouldn't care about what "Joe Public" thinks of them. If it's that easy and greatly paid with excellent advantages, everyone is free to apply and do the same job as well. It's so exhausting to read daily jealous comments on jobs that are well paid, really. It's all about money, all the time. Well paid = work and shut up for "Joe Public"... "Joe Public" doesn't care at all if employees have extremely bad working conditions at some airlines as long as their ticket remains cheap. Is that acceptable? I don't think it is, honestly.
ATCO's have our safety in their hands, such as pilots and cabin crew, and everybody working around aircrafts. What do you guys think when you see people who don't speak a word of French, Dutch or English cleaning aircrafts at the end of the day in CRL for probably extremely bad conditions? Here again, "Joe Public" doesn't care because it makes their fare cheaper, but as soon as they'll be affected, they will care. How strange huh? Who had thought Sabena pilots would end up working for low-cost airlines with "self-employed" kind of contracts? Some would blame them for striking before bankruptcy (read that comment not that long ago here), but one must be seriously blind to think they are responsible for the end of Sabena...
Many people here complain about the fact that there is no belgian aviation anymore. You bet, but it's too late.
Oh wait, there is still TNT/ASL Belgium, but their jobs are slowly but surely being stolen by FedEx metal and our politicians prefer to close their eyes on illegal practices because it keeps some jobs on the ground.
We had Eurotrans/BCS (DHL) based in Brussels. Our politicians made them escape to Leipzig. All gone. Finito. Now they have plenty of flights out of BRU, even in daytime, but guess what. DHL doesn't want to open a new base in BRU for its pilots, even if the need is there. Why would they bother doing that if Germany can offer better conditions for the employER......?
Thomas Cook = gone
Sobelair = gone
Citybird = gone
VLM = gone
Virgin Express = gone
Brussels Airlines = hmm, what to say...
TUI BE remains successful, although not belgian, it's still managed by belgians who made/make it work. But now our politicians think they can save the planet by taxing kerosene (even if ONLY Belgium does it, all by itself). Guess what will happen next? Belgium is in the middle of everything and could have taken a good advantage of that, but instead, everything in aviation is escaping from here...
Who is to be blamed for that? People fighting for their working conditions, or people who "manage" the country?
Seriously guys, think twice before saying ATCO's should go back to the flexibility they have shown in the past few years. Flexibility works for sure, but it has limits and these limits should be written black on white if rules are obviously not respected.
Last but not least, don't forget skeyes doesn't offer the best working conditions in the sector... here again, look further than Belgium.
Edit: just wanted to add something to end this reply with a more optimistic view; I still like the job and I'm happy to do it, but I don't think we can be happy of what aviation became in Europe and I also don't think we should let things get even worse in the near future.