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It is only fair to those who wish to join this company that they know what they are getting

themselves into before they make that decision of leaving behind job , country and family to come to Doha and work for Qatar Airways. There isnt a single Labor Union in Doha, which gives local companies like Qatar A irways the totalitarian power to make and change rules and regulations without a ny expected objections from employees. Labor or Worker Strikes are unheard of in this part of the world. There are no negotiations ever made between management and staff. Rules could easily change overnight at the companys own prerogative. I f only there was a Union to protect the staff, Qatar Airways would have been dra gged to court relentlessly for all the misconduct and abuse it has done to its s taff over the years. Thus the ultimate goal of this article is that the staff of Qatar Airways get a chance to be heard by any international organization who possess the power and a uthority to force this company to change and reform its management methods. Everyone in the region knows that Qatar Airways is a tough company to work for. It isnt easy for the employees who already work here to just leave and find other jobs. The majority of the staff is then forced to accept the working conditions allowing the company to continue in their abuse. Here are the major rules that affect the lifestyle of the staff the most and again they are constantly changin g. Accommodation If you are imagining a flat with an exquisite view of the city in a high-rise co ndominium building that is fully fitted with a gym and an indoor pool, you will be disappointed. The tallest accommodation building is not higher than ten floor s. Not all buildings come with a gym -not what they promise you on the interview day. During the interview they also show you a photo of a pool implying that ac commodations have them. Only one accommodation building has an indoor pool and t he another an outdoor one. Thats not enough for over 3000 cabin crew. If you are expecting to be living in the Manhattan area of Doha, thats not the ca se. The location surrounding the accommodations makes you question yourself whet her you live in one of the world wealthiest countries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita ) For the ladies, the area is nt safe, or at least comfortable, for a stroll unless you welcome indecent propos als from local men. It isnt uncommon either for girls to be touched by men loiter ing around the accommodation buildings. A new system has been installed in all accommodation buildings supposedly to enh ance our security. The Swipe In Swipe Out. You will need to swipe your company ID to unlock a door every time you leave the accommodation building or enter it. Ma nagement claims its to protect us from intruders by keeping the main entrance to the building locked at all times and monitoring the in and out movements. This i s true; however, the company isnt just concerned about our safety. We are instruc ted to swipe our ID even if the door is already open. If two staff leave or ente r the premises together, both of them should swipe their IDs. If you visit your c olleague in another building, you will not only have to sign in a log book indic ating the time you arrived or left but you will have to swipe your ID as well. N eedless to say, the system has been installed to monitor the staffs movements mor e than it is to protect them from outsiders. Cameras are installed in various areas of the building. This is of course for th e crews protection, however, the recorded footage can also be used against again crew member who breaks the curfew and minimum rest regulations, which is explain ed further below. Visiting Hours and Curfew Visitors are allowed in the accommodations between 7:00am to isitors are to sign in a log book at the security guard desk s they arrive and leave. However, a crew member is permitted t another crew members accommodation provided that they are 10:00pm only. All v and put in the time to stay overnight a of the same gender.

A curfew is set for all cabin crew at 3:30am. All crew members must be in accomm odation buildings before 3:30am irrespective of the next day duty. The log book together with Swiping ID system and camera footage can be used as e vidences against any staff member in breach of the curfew rule. Strict actions including termination of employment- can be taken. So far, the most common reaso n for crew members losing their jobs is not adhering to the curfew rule. Minimum Rest It is absolutely reasonable for an airline company to obligate the crew members to have sufficient rest prior to any flight or duty. Emergencies could occur any time, either on short of long flights, so crew must be alert and mentally capab le of performing all the procedures and drills at any time. It is also unpleasan t to see crew members sleeping on their jump seats during take-off and landing. A while ago, some passengers were kind enough to take pictures of crew sleeping on jump seats and sent them to the office (sending pictures to the company offic es has become a common practice recently). The outcome was that dozens of girls were fired just because they were out of their accommodation during their suppos edly rest period. Eventually, many of them were reinstated because they were out just for a short time to do errands such as buying grocery or going to the laun dry, yet many never got their jobs back. The minimum rest period used to start 10 hours before reporting time of any duty . As of August 22, 2010, this rule has been changed; All crew members should be at company accommodations 12 hours before pick-up time . CAA requires that there should be a rest period of 11 hours starting from 30 min utes after chucks on (roughly when engines are shut off) until the reporting tim e of next duty(approximately 100-120 minutes before departure). However, they roster crew in back to back flights in such a way that they reach the accommodation well short of the 12 hour rule. Take this for example: They roster a crew for a Saigon flight where the scheduled touchdown back in Doh a is at 2359H. Then the next duty is a flight to Jeddah departing at 1345H with a reporting time of 1155H. After adding 30mins after engines off to calculate en d of duty (which now becomes 0029H), the crew roughly has only 11 hours and 26 m inutes until the next duty. This is still legal according to CAA regulations but according to the 12-hour rule, this crew isnt at company accommodation yet. The crew is still inside the aircraft doing the post flight duties including disemba rking the passengers and conducting the security checks. Then the crew leaves th e aircraft and boards a bus to go to the technical building where another bus aw aits to transport the crew to the accommodation. The whole process may take anot her one hour until the crew finally reaches his/her room in the accommodation. N ow the crew has only 10 hours and 26 minutes until his next reporting time. Howe ver, the pick-up time is 20 40 minutes before a reporting time (depending on how far the accommodation is from the technical building). So the crew has reached company accommodation just 10 hours before the pick-up which is well in breach o f the 12-hour rule. Crew has to change clothes, pack for next duty, sleep, wake up, and prepare for the next duty at least an hour before pick-up time. Crew can be terminated if found not following this rule yet the company breaks it very r egularly. Dating The company monitors and discourages boy-girl relationships. If the company find s out that you are dating another crew member they will keep a close track of al l the times you visited each other in either accommodations. If it shows in the records that a crew member was at the accommodation of his/her special someone dur ing the rest period of either crew , both would be fired. The management has a s trong stand against romance among the crew members.

Marriage If you are single, forget about tying the knot in the next three or five years d epending on whichever was indicated in the contact you signed. You wont be allowe d to get married not before working 5 years with the company. This was changed t o 3 years some time ago then again changed back to 5 years. It varies depending on the mood of management. Should you wish to get married before the agreed time, you will have to write a letter or probably go all the way up to CEO to ask for his approval. By the way, there isnt any maternity, paternity, or any similar lea ve in Qatar Airways! These privileges dont exist here. A crew member was asked to leave the company when found out that he/she married without company approval. Some were even asked to resign just for asking the approval for marriage. Non-Disclosure Agreement All employees of Qatar Airways are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. They claim that the reason is to preserve the confidentiality of corporate inform ation. However, it is mentioned in the contract as well that an employee will be held responsible to cover all the expenses incurred if ever the company enters i nto law suits because of the employees disclosure. Its worth wondering why a company would fear being sued in the first place unless it has happened already. Service Bond A total amount of QR7,200 (USD 1,980) shall be deducted in instalments from your salary over two years. That will serve as your service bond and will be given b ack to you once you complete the two years with the company. Should you decide t o leave before the stipulated time of two years, you will be asked to pay the ba lance on your service bond. Qatar Airways hold the record in the region for the highest rate of turnover in a month. Staff leave in different fashion. Some simp ly resign after the service bond is over. Few cant wait and dont mind paying the b ond and leave just as they started training. Others wait and fly a few weeks or months until they cant take it anymore and fly to their home country or anywhere close and jump ship (never get back for duty) to avoid paying the bond. In almos t every flight you will hear a crew member spreading the news of his/her resigna tion. Beware: Qatar Airways has demanded payment of the service bond or whatever is ba lance from crew member who have been terminated! So, even if you wish to stay bu t the company wants to fire you, you may still be asked/forced to pay the servic e bond. Salary Salary is completely at their control. Take for example the latest incident invo lving the Australian staff. Australians were jump shipping at a very alarming ra te that the company has decided to withhold their salaries! That meant they get only a portion of their hard-earned salary at the end of each month. However, if the English or the Spanish staff start jump shipping as well then the same rule may apply to all English or Spanish staff currently working with Qatar Airways. Over-time pay has also become an issue lately. This is how it overtime works. Ar ound three years ago, if you fly more than 840 hours in one year (from April to March), you get paid double the hourly pay for every hour above 840. Normally, t his comes along with your salary for the month of May. At least thats how it used to be. In May 2009, with no prior notice at all, the limit was changed to 950 h ours when in fact they gave their word that the limit would always be 840 hours. That means that each crew member who was expecting any overtime pay has lost th e amount equivalent to double the pay of 110 hours of flying which is roughly a whole one month of flying in itself. However, it wasnt written on paper so they c hanged it just as they wished without expecting any protest.

Promotions Other airlines require you to apply for a promotion and you will have to go thro ugh the process of performance assessment. You may even have to go through a sma ll interview. Unlike those companies, promotions and career growth in Qatar Airw ays arent exactly based on your performance or merits. Here in Qatar Airways luck plays an important role in your career advancement. You dont have to apply for p romotion. You get handpicked! The promotion process here works in just the same way as the drawing of lots or the lottery. Even seniority doesnt play its part. Y ou would assume that since you worked in the company longer you are more legible to get promoted before the ones who joined later than you. It isnt strange to fi nd people who have underperformed yet got their promotion before a hard working crew did. You could work so hard for years and not get noticed and get stuck in economy cabin. You could be working over two years in economy then find another crew who just finished his first year with the company but is now promoted to pr emium cabin. The most commonly used answer given by the company whenever asked w hy the injustice is: the company is growing rapidly thus needing more crew to wo rk in the premium cabin while at the same time not wanting to pull out all the s enior crew from the economy cabin. Its good for those who get promoted fast but u nfavourable for those who have to wait longer for the other new crew to be senio r enough before they could move up. Another scheme that Qatar Airways is famous of is that of Fast Track. This offers all crew members with previous flying experience the opportunity to be fast-trac ked in their promotion to the premium cabin. However, one cant still understand h ow this scheme works. You can easily find crew with previous flying experience a nd clean record with the company yet still didnt get what they were promised duri ng the interview. At the same time, you will find many crew with no prior flying experience getting promoted after being with the company barely over a year. Th ese kinds of crew arent even competent enough to handle the duties of the economy cabin and are now positioned in the premium cabin to serve VIP customers. It is unimaginable how they still expect 5-Star service from these inexperienced crew . Uniform It is absolutely comprehendible that a staff represents the company every time h e/she wears the uniform. There are certain prohibitions for a crew member while in uniform that are acceptable and indeed must be obeyed such as smoking, drinki ng alcohol, entering a bar, chewing gum, or publicly displaying affection (kissing , holding hands and so forth). However, there are new rules unique only to Qatar Airways Staff: Male and female staff while in uniform must NOT share the same means of transpor tation, let it be a taxi or a private car. If caught doing so, it is immediate t ermination of employment. This has happened all too often. So, in a hot cloudles s summer day in a country where Taxis are a rare commodity, you still have to tak e separate cars. Female Cabin Crew using non-QR Transport except taxi or limousine service vehicle s, whether in uniform or not, may not be dropped off at or picked up from any Qa tar Airways official premises, by a male other than her father, brother or husba nd. ... the use of mobile phones and other entertainment gadgets whilst in uniform, a re also not permitted under any circumstances. This also applies during those lon g bus trips between airports and hotels which takes from 30 minutes to two hours in some destinations. Female Cabin Crew are also not permitted to remove their hats during this trips despite being in a bus for fear of being seen by outside onlookers. However, some supervisors instruct the crew to draw the curtains and allow them to remove their hats but this is done at their own risks. If you want to show your friends how you look in uniform, you cant do it on any s ocial network websites. It is no longer permitted to post any photos of yourself while in uniform online.

Too much hair gel could get you fired! Yes, this and similar cases have happened . A male cabin crew while still undergoing his training at the Qatar Airways Tow ers ran into the CEO one day and apparently had too much gel on his hair. The CE O just simply took his ID number and the boy was sent home almost immediately. A female cabin crew once had a dusty hat while reporting for duty and unfortunate ly she also ran into the CEO. It is reported that he took her hat and offloaded her from the flight and asked the office to fire her. Smoking This is strictly a non-smoking airline/company. All cabin crew members are not a llowed to smoke at all. Not even at home, in layovers, or during your vacation. Cabin crew have signed in their job offer contracts that they are non-smokers th erefore should not be caught smoking at any circumstance. The company has the right to spot check all cabin crew flats and search extensivel y (which means run through you closets and drawers) for cigarettes, lighters, or ash trays. Once any of these is found, the crew will be terminated immediately. The recent trend of the company is to check Facebook and search for pictures smo king cabin crew! Terminations/Resignations It is a common joke here that whenever a crew announces his/her resignation, the response would be, Congratulations! During the economic crisis, when neighbouring airline companies were downsizing or asking the staff to go on either short unpaid leave or long paid leave, Qatar Airways was still hiring! We actually had a shortage of crew. Yes, they did sta rt routes to new destinations and they did get new aircraft but the influx of ne w crew member every month was more than enough to cover for these two factors. T he primary reason for the continued recruitment is that we had crew members bein g terminated left and right and some of course just resigned. Every other month or so, there is news of another wave of terminations which cou ld reach up 30 crew member at one time for many different reasons. In the past there was a large number of cabin crew who directly joined neighbour ing airline Etihad Airways. There were so many who left that consequently Qatar Airways has ended its good relations with Etihad and it is no longer possible fl y on discounted or (ID) tickets on their planes/routes. With Qatar Airways, you can be terminated for simple reasons as forgetting to gi ve a glass of water, wine or coffee to a passenger. It will then be your word against the passengers and most likely your word is ren dered worthless. You can be terminated, demoted, or receive a warning letter. Al l your past positive performance and contributions to the company will also be d isregarded. Whats worse is that even the supervisors will be asked to explain the incident and may at times pay for the mistake done by the crew who is under his /her supervision. Whenever the CEO steps on the plane during boarding or deplaning, it almost alwa ys means someone is going to be in trouble. He intentionally looks for mistakes. It is good to maintain a high quality of service and performance but causing so meone to lose his/her job or be demoted just because a hair scrunchie wasnt place d high enough, for example, or because a passenger has changed his seat without the crew members knowledge is simply outrageous. All employees constantly work in fear whenever he is around. That is Akbar Al Bakers work philosophy. The list of causes of termination in this company is endless. You can lose your job for personal photos of you (not even posted in facebook) or parking your car in the wrong place in front of company official premises. Stress is good when i t promotes more focus and attentiveness to ones work but in this company the stre ss level is so high that it becomes paranoia. All these cases of terminations ar e true. The crew will vouch for them if asked at any given time. The latest news of terminations was because the company has been checking the ph otos posted by the crew on Facebook. Any crew caught smoking or with cigarettes

around will be fired instantly! A staff who has worked for Qatar Airways for nine years was fired recently witho ut even getting the gratuity owed to her. This is extremely illegal and is the t rend this company is using. This is how they do it: When a crew member has worked more than five years, he/she is entitled to receiv e additional one month basic salary for every year he/she worked once he/she res igns. So, for crew who stayed a lot longer than 5 years are expecting to receive a hefty amount upon their resignation. But for the company to avoid giving out this gratuity pay they find ways (or faults) in the crew members record in order t o terminate the crew rendering him/her eligible of receiving the gratuity or end -of-service pay. This has happened all too often to the very senior crew. This i s how they pay you back for contributing all the hard effort through the years w ith the company. They forget the good deeds you did for them and get you on one mistake and cause you to lose a huge amount of money for it. However, some crew are fighting for it in the courts. Profit And Profit Share It is believed that the perceived success of Qatar Airways is mainly due to impo sing certain rules and regulations to the staff. Emirates Airlines, the biggest and most successful in the region, doesnt have these rules. Actually, they laugh at Qatar Airways staff whenever they hear of these ridiculous rules. Termination of employees isnt a common activity in their company yet Emirates boast of creat ing huge revenues, whereas so far Qatar Airways still hasnt even showed to the wo rld its financial records. This is a quote from the CEO himself, I would like to ask him how does he know that since Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways are not pub lishing their financial reports as yet? (http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/ar ticle.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=415394&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16) (Reuters) - State-owned Qatar Airways expects to make its first profit by 2010 a nd could sell shares to local and foreign investors three years after that, the company s chief executive said on Sunday. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/06/03/us-qatarairways-privatisation-idUSL03 13438820070603) Mr. Al Baker claims that Qatar Airways finally broke even in the year 2010 and f or the first time Profit Share was distributed to all employees which trickled d own to be worth just two weeks equivalent of each employees basic salary. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker announced on 20-Dec-2010 that Qatar Airways is o n track to declare a very hefty profit this year, clearing the way for an IPO. The CEO stated he is "pretty confident" the carrier will launch an IPO in early 201 2, after achieving three consecutive years of profitability. The CEO added that Qatar Airways achieved a net profit in 2009, although the car rier has not reported specific figures. The airline is on track to declare a net profit this year and Mr Al Baker is hopeful of deriving a net profit in the next financial year as well. Late in 2008, Mr Al Baker said that he had been hopeful of launching an IPO in 2010, but the impact of the global financial crisis had d elayed the carrier from achieving its break-even target. Just how profitable Qatar Airways actually is remains a mystery, as the carrier is simply not telling. Qatar Airways is 50% owed by the Qatari Government and 50 % owned by private interests and does not disclose its accounts. Mr Al Baker sta ted that the carrier will will disclose the exact figure only when we get listed. The scale of any IPO has not been made clear either. The percentage of the airli ne to be put on public offer and the timing will be decided by the owners, accor ding to Mr Al Baker. (http://www.centreforaviation.com/news/2010/12/22/a-profit-breakthrough-for-qata r-airways-roll-on-ipo/page1) Emirates has been distributing Profit Shares to its staff for years which could sometimes reach up two months worth of basic salary. They made a huge profit for the year 2010 as stated below. Emirates has declared a USD964 million profit (AED3,565 million) for the 12 mont hs to 31-Mar-2010, an impressive performance against a backdrop of the worst glo

bal recession in generations. Chairman and CEO of the carrier, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, described the period as the airlines toughest year. But a profit approaching USD1 billion is a tough year most of its competitors would be happy to endure. Whatever anyone says about Emirates being government owned, it is una voidably an increasingly powerful model and extremely cost effective, while bein g able to drive better than average yields. Passenger traffic was up nearly 21%, to 27.5 million, while load factors recover ed 2.3 percentage points from FY2008/09. (http://www.centreforaviation.com/news/2010/05/13/the-emirates-profit-machine-ke eps-on-rolling/page1) This only shows that strict rules and increasing restriction on the staff doesnt necessarily mean good business and produce profit. Emirates staff enjoy one of t he best lifestyles in the cabin crew world. The rules and regulations of Qatar A irways are unfathomable to them. Their work environment is so open and encourage s their staff to stay and contribute more the airline. Work Environment The word Report is used far more frequently here than in any other airline company . The phrase Lets support and not report each other has no relevance in Qatar Airwa ys. In fact, the CEO himself will encourage all his staff to report each other. If you dont like someone here, make up a story, gather some evidences to support your story and go to the office and report your colleague. The people in office thrive on such incidents. The company also urges passengers to write comments on tells us forms. It is of co urse part of any customer service business to receive feedbacks from clients to continually improve its product. Customer is King! But to allow a custoner to th reaten a staff just to get what he/she wants is a little too much. Customers fly ing Qatar Airways know how strict this airline is towards the cabin crew and abu se this power in getting what they want from the helpless staff. On every flight you fly with Qatar Airways, there will be a public announcement (PA) that goes like this, Ladies and gentlemen, we aim to offer you genuine servi ce and hospitality every to travel with us. We would like to know how well we ac hieved this today and truly welcome your feedback. If you would like to tell us your thoughts, the cabin crew will provide you with a Tell US survey form... I havent heard any other airline making such PA. Not even the so called other 5-s tar airlines. In other words, its saying to the passengers to report the staff. I f a crew member cant provide something to a passenger, he/she will always be afra id whether that passenger will complain. So, crew are at constant fear when deal ing with passengers. The passengers in turn have the upper hand and really make good use of their authority to intimidate the crew. It is once said that in a flight on a competitor airline, a passenger was compla ining and threatening to report the cabin crew member. The crew member mockingly responded by saying, We are not Qatar Airways. This only shows how far our reputation has reached of being the intimidated crew . Yet, all this is overshadowed by the cabin crew achievements in recent years. Qatar Airways cabin crew was voted Best Cabin Crew in the Middle East for the se venth consecutive year at the 2009 Skytrax airline awards. It was voted as the A irline of the year in 2011 by Skytrax as well. All these awards high-lighten the fact that injustice is being committed against the staff who has obviously achi eved so much. CEO Speech All who have successfully completed the training (which is called AB-initio trai ning and takes roughly 7 weeks) will be scheduled to return to attend an orienta tion conducted by the CEO Akbar Al-Baker himself. It is commonly known as Wings Day or CEO Speech. A few batches of new crew will be put together in one classro om which could reach 50 members to listen to the speech. When it comes to this p unctuality doesnt mean much to the CEO. There are times when you will have to wai t for hours until he comes. At times as well, that after being picked up from yo ur accommodation and waiting for him to come, the meeting is cancelled. This mee

ting is not to congratulate and welcome the new comers but the instruct and warn them. There is no other airline in the world that has a CEO who uses profanity while a ddressing his staff. He even uses these words in the presence of young females. The most common phrase that he will say goes something like this, If you think yo u come here for F....ing, think again. You come here to work. Or, if you came here to f....k young girls, go home. He has also said something like this, you didnt come here to travel, you came here to serve passengers. After listening to his speech you will wonder whether you would want to stay in the company. He has even raised his voice once at a girl, saying this, you look at me, I want everyone here to maintain eye contact with me when I talk. All these of course is hidden from the world. When you see him all decent with a smiling face at the Air shows and conferences shaking hands with big names in t he airline industry, you dont see the other side of him and how he controls his c ompany with such abuse of human rights. It is our prayers and hope that he would be exposed for the world to see his true self and somehow human activist organi zation would come to our rescue. This company has huge potentials and will grow in the future but on whose expense?