Dozens of flight attendants of the Rossiya airline issued a collective appeal to a number of authorities, including the presidential administration, complaining about the policy of “repressions and purges.” Because of it, according to employees, the company is leaving valuable personnel, on which security and a high level of service were kept.
Stewards and flight attendants working for Rossiya Airlines, which is part of the Aeroflot group, have complained about its policies and working conditions. More than 50 flight attendants wrote a collective appeal to the presidential administration, the Investigative Committee, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the State Duma and the Ministry of Labor. The reason for this step was dissatisfaction with the “repression and purges” that, according to them, the air carrier is carrying out. Flight attendants note that as a result, valuable personnel who ensure safety and a high level of service during flights are leaving Rossiya. In the appeal, the airline employees reported the deterioration of working conditions, asked to assess the legitimacy of the employer’s actions, help retain the team and conduct an audit with respect to the deputy head of the company for service Laszlo Sabo, the head of the 5th department of flight attendants Natalya Mayorova and the deputy head of the on-board service department in St. Petersburg Valeria Piterskaya for compliance with the position held. This is reported by the Telegram channel “Aviatorshchina”.
Salaries and bonuses
In October 2022, a new salary regulation came into force in Russia. As a result, flight attendants lost a significant part of their income: in annual terms, cabin crew lost about 20-40% of their earnings. According to the innovation, a significant part of the salary falls on bonuses, but their accrual is not regulated by any clear criteria. According to flight attendants, their accrual occurs “at the good will of the leaders.”
Stewards and flight attendants can be left without a bonus for very dubious reasons. For example, parents of first-graders who have issued a vacation day on September 1, laid down in accordance with internal documents, or donors who use their legal rest days, are at risk of losing it. When going on sick leave, employees know that this can also be a reason for depriving them of a bonus for a month, even if they missed only one day.
According to flight attendants, the goal of the management of the on-board service department is to de-bonuse employees for even the smallest oversights. They note that the punishment is often completely disproportionate to the violation committed, and against this background, an “unnecessarily nervous situation” arises on flights.
Do you speak English?
Another problem that flight attendants face is English. Almost everyone knows the basic phrases, but the company, according to employees, makes increased demands on them, which do not correspond to the general level of requirements for foreign language proficiency in Russia. By the way, the income of a flight attendant directly depends on the knowledge of English – a significant part of the salary is tied to him, about 30 thousand rubles a month.
At the same time, as employees point out, the level of language proficiency is determined without any transparent criteria, the assessment seems speculative. According to the flight attendants, the management is not at all interested in raising the level of language proficiency among the cabin crew – to a greater extent, its actions are focused on saving on payroll.
The position of the airline is justified by the fact that there are foreign aircraft in its fleet, and passengers of different nationalities travel on flights. They indicate that the quality of service on board depends on the level of English proficiency, as well as the effectiveness of meeting the requirements related to flight safety, the provision of first aid if such a need arises during the flight.
Another point that does not suit flight attendants is related to the peculiarities of employment. Most of them work for several years under a fixed-term contract, and employees do not always understand whether it will be renewed. The absence of objective criteria for prolonging contracts and clarity on this issue creates a tense atmosphere in the team. As flight attendants note, it can often negatively affect the performance of official duties. As a result, flight attendants make mistakes, which, in turn, the management can use for psychological pressure on them.
Stewards and stewardesses are not satisfied with the problem of planning. Flights are assigned a minimum number of cabin crew members instead of an optimal one, and as a result, the workload on them increases – this is relevant not only for a regular situation, when problems can arise during standard passenger service, but also in possible emergency situations. In addition, according to employees, previously single mothers were not put on long flights, and couples could work together. After a change in leadership, this has changed.
Employees of “Russia” complain that they are forced to “voluntary” consent to re-flying, breaking shifts and the use of personal data. If flight attendants refuse, they may face informal sanctions – uneven planning, denial of additional training, biased attitudes from managers.
As for disciplinary sanctions, employees claim that they are issued contrary to the Labor Code of the Russian Federation – immediately for a period of one year. The employee bears a double penalty for one offense: he is deprived of the bonus part of the salary for the month, and also left without the opportunity to upgrade his class or keep it on the annual interqualification commission. This means that over the next year, the employee’s salary will be reduced by 10-30%.