- Created: Monday, 07 September 2015 16:08
- Last Updated: Monday, 07 September 2015 17:55
Unfortunately we have seen management bullying and unfair and aggressive behaviour towards engineers again rearing its ugly head at many facilities this past month. It makes you wonder whether there is a standard management class on how to stand over workers and try to bully them to enforce illegal and un-airworthy practices. Not only is this unacceptable behaviour towards individuals exercising their rights and obligations to ground aircraft that are not airworthy, it is also downright dangerous. The message it sends to others in the workplace is significant and extremely damaging, especially the effect on newly-licensed engineers who are not accustomed to having responsibilities of a licence-holder. LAMEs are not built or trained to “look the other way” if something does not comply with the relevant manual, procedure or regulation. LAMEs inherently know when something should not be overlooked or ignored however when pressure to act in a certain way is applied by your employer it’s naturally hard to ignore and plays on your mind. If you find yourself in this sort of situation, you need to record as much detail as you can remember and contact the ALAEA for it to be recorded and acted upon if necessary.
You are licensed as an engineer under Commonwealth law and you are ultimately responsible to the people of Australia. It is your licence and your responsibility; not your manager’s, boss’s, leading hand’s or supervisor’s.
We are presently preparing a court case regarding Qantas Engineering management’s latest foray into Personal Performance Reviews. Once again management have chosen to ignore our legal industrial instrument (the Enterprise Agreement) and enact their own variant. Conciliation over the issue at the Fair Work Commission does not seem to have had any impression on the company and it seems, despite the potential costs, the company intend to plough on.
An issue that does not just affect our industry, the argument about penalty rates and appropriate pay for appropriate work, continues to be waged. Employer bodies and the Federal Government have been weighing in however it seems the only ones that have a problem with the payment of shift penalties are those that don’t work on the days that they are paid! In the words of ACTU President Ged Kearney “the day they play the Rugby League Grand Final on a Tuesday morning you can tell me there is no such thing as a weekend”.
Further afield, global interaction between Aviation Engineering organisations has been ongoing ever since the late 1960’s. In 1972, the ALAE (Great Britain), ALAEA and AIAE came together in Sydney to create AEI: Aircraft Engineers International. More importantly, the three organisations worked to formulate an international strategy to tackle their growing problems of the devaluation of the licence, company licencing and scab labour. Ask yourself how much of that still rings true today? We are all continually under siege as airlines and MROs drive us down to the lowest common denominator of safety in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Together we have seen company management try to turn a highly regarded and regulated industry into a pathetic shadow of its former self; that is where these alliances are instrumental in the battle going forward. Without the cooperation and information from Europe and the United States (in the form of the AEI and IFA) the ALAEA would have often found itself at the mercy of misinformation peddled by merchants of change for change sake. Recently, (and not so recently) the changes in CASA off the back of changes in EASA are a perfect example of our successful international cooperation. We are often under-manned and under-resourced but we should never be underestimated. Together, with your help, we continue the fight to protect our licence and our industry.