Thursday, September 1, 2011
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The head of DO&CO, the contractor firm that provides cooks to Turkey’s flagship airline company Turkish Airlines, has sent an apology letter to 130 chefs on board, following a Hürriyet Daily News report last week that the “flying cooks” were being prevented from unionizing and threatened with layoffs.
“I would like to apologize first that the communication flow between us was not the best in recent weeks,” said Christian Reisenegger, head of Flying Chefs of DO&CO, in an e-mail letter obtained by the Daily News. “Now it is time to come back and to say sorry that we could not have the chance to get in touch from time to time to solve your issues or your problems immediately.”
Reisenegger also called for the chefs not to let negative sentiments overrun them and their great spirit.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a flying chef told the Daily News on Aug. 20, “The way the company threatens us is unfair.” He also said the company did not provide enough weekly days off. The source also claimed that the company had threatened the chefs with pink slips if any of them decided to join a Turkish labor union.
Ali Genç, a Turkish Airlines official, denied the claims of the flying chefs on Aug. 22, saying the chefs flew only 82 hours per month.
Reisenegger wrote in his apology letter that he was open to talk with the chefs at any time, adding that if the chefs did not want to contact the administration directly, they could also instead use a new portal to express their concerns indirectly. “I am not lying or telling you some stories. This is not my way and will never happen,” he said, assuring the chefs that the company would keep communication channels open.