Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gulf Air cabin crew petition CEO for pay raise

Gulf Air logoFlight attendants at Gulf Air are asking management for a 30% pay raise, plus an increase in allowances. The Gulf Daily News in Bahrain reports that a petition signed by 500 Gulf Air cabin crew requesting changes to pay and working conditions was handed to the airline's acting president and chief executive Bjorn Naf by the Flight Attendant General Trade Union earlier this week.

The union's leader, Sadeq Al Derazi, said the airline had to improve the pay of in-flight staff or continue to lose them to rival carriers. Mr. Al Derazi is a cabin services manager who has worked for Gulf Air for 18 years.

"Our main objective is not only to get increased pays but to keep hold of our experienced cabin crew. A lot of them have moved to other companies and we want to stop them," he said.

"Only improving conditions will stop people from leaving for other companies. We are not trying to force their hand - we are asking them to stop people moving to another airline."
In addition to an increase in base pay, Gulf Air cabin crew are seeking an increase in the meal allowance paid for every hour that each flight attendant is away from Bahrain.

The union has asked for an agreement to be reached by the end of this month.


Matthew C. Keegan said...

I guess Gulf Air lags well behind Emirates in pay. I can't imagine not going up against the pay scale of some of these other carriers and still expecting crew to remain loyal. Money talks or the people walk!

B. N. Sullivan said...

Indeed, Matt, money does talk.

On the other hand, some carriers are known to have a policy of intentionally paying less, fully expecting crew to leave after a few years, while counting on the fact that they can be replaced rather easily from the pool of wannabe flight attendants lined up waiting for a chance to fly, even if they are not well paid.

Other carriers seem to value the skill expertise and professional polish that comes only with experience, so they do a better job of retaining their experienced crew by paying them well -- and treating them well in regard to working conditions above and beyond the pay, per se.

I can't say I know enough about Gulf Air to say which of the above is their approach.