23 Ağustos 2011 Salı

'Flying chefs' of Turkey's national carrier tired of long hours

Monday, August 22, 2011

After a long flight to China or Japan, the company allows less than 12 hours for its employees to rest and sleep.

After a long flight to China or Japan, the company allows less than 12 hours for its employees to rest and sleep.
The “flying chefs,” the cooks on Turkish Airlines planes, have accused Turkish DO&CO, their contractor employer, of preventing them from unionizing with a threat of layoffs, chefs speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News said.
“The way the company threatens us is unfair,” said a flying chef recently, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Also, the company does not provide enough weekly off days.”

 After a long flight to China or Japan, the company allows less than 12 hours for its employees to rest and sleep, whereas Turkish Airlines allocates nearly 48 hours for its cabin crew to overcome symptoms of jetlag, the chef said.
Turkish Airlines on its official website says the flying chefs “work closely with the cabin crew” to serve the dishes to First and Business Class passengers in the professional way preparation. “This means luxury restaurant style in the sky.”
“But nowadays the chefs are way too tired to fly,” according to the food staff speaking to the Daily News.
“We are considered as a part of the cabin crew working onboard side by side with Turkish Airlines’ crew but treated differently,” said the chef.

The cabin crew is normally allowed to fly onboard at most 110 hours per month according to regulations established by the Turkish Ministry of Transport. “But we are obliged to fly and cook for nearly 130 hours,” another chef told the Daily News.

“We do not have such concept of rest, weekly or monthly off days,” an unnamed chef said in an e-mail sent to Airkule.com, a Turkish aviation news portal. “We work on board around 120 to 130 hours with not much time to sleep and rest.”

“We are not working according to the laws,” said the chef, claiming that the company has threatened the chefs with pink slips if any of them decide to a Turkish labor union. “Since we are too many doing this profession and too scared to lose our jobs, we still remain silent, but a solution is urgently needed,” the chef added.
Turkish Airlines senior vice president of media relations, Dr. Ali Genç, denied the chefs’ claims in a phone interview with the Daily News on Monday. “They fly seven days on board, work at DO&CO restaurant based in Istanbul for eight days and have nearly 15 days to rest per month.” Genç also said the approximate hours that the chefs fly per month is 82 hours. “Comparing chefs with the cabin crew is also not right as the crew has more responsibilities such as onboard security,” Genç said.

Genç also said the chefs could not be members in the Turkish civil aviation union, or Hava-İş, because it was formed by the members of Turkish Airlines and the chefs are not a part of the original airlines cabin crew but working for DO&CO directly. Genç denied the claims that the chefs would be fired if they joined a union, saying that the chefs receive “attractive benefits while traveling around the world.”

Representing British Airways, Air France, Asiana Airlines and Emirates in its wide range of customer portfolio, 28.9 percent of DO&CO shares trade on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, or ISE, and 18.15 percent on the Vienna Exchange.

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