In response to Abdul thinking our ‘strike’ was funny and Bob 2 quitting I have designed the following t-shirt. Maybe we should have them printed and wear them all. The irony is that Abdul should be the first to wear it. No-one must know better than him what it is to Talal’s foot up your arse right now.
Though we worked, we did not go into the office Thursday or Saturday (Friday being our day off). Abdul knew we were working because I had told him we were.
This morning I got a call from Abdul. I then emailed the crew summarising what he had said;
- Abdul had joked about his points not being alphabetical.
- He said we would be paid Monday or Tuesday.
- That “we” [he did not say who “we” are] reserved the right to not pay us for days we do not show up in the office even if we say we have been working.
- There was no apology.
- No explanation.
- The tone of the entire email was immature and offensive.
This requires further explanation.
The “alphabetical joke” is a reference to the email Ibrahim and Ahmed were sent saying we would not come back to the office or share our work until we had been paid up in full.
Abdul also started by saying, “Is this the leader of the Devine Clan?” I pointed out — as Ray had apparently done to him last Thursday when he said the same thing about me — that all the UK crew were in agreement about this. But still Abdul likes to joke about it.
When I told Abdul we had been working in our rooms, he said “But how do we know that?” I replied it is a point of trust. He said “You could be lying.” (!!!)
There’s a principle of psychology that the thing people despise most in others is the thing they are most guilty of. ATG thinks everyone is trying to stitch them up or is lying to them because this is what ATG does to everyone every day.
At no point did Abdul offer an explanation to me or an apology. ATG and its staff don’t do apologies (actually, Ibrahim and Majid have apologised a few times — good for them).
Anyway, Chris told me it all “kicked off” Thursday night between the email and Simon going on the ‘offensive’. There were calls between Talal and Ibrahim and Abdul and Fadi and they ran into Friday. Chris said ATG had fucked up. They couldn’t make payments because Fadi and Talal had both been away. But that’s just nonsense. That excuse can only be used so many times before it becomes utterly ridiculous and we’ve heard it too many times already. ATG fuck up because they want to. It’s part of their MO for screwing with other people’s heads and reminding them who’s boss.
Oh by the way…
I emailed Abdul afterwards asking for clarification on whether or not our pay would be deducted for yesterday and last Thursday.
Abdul’s Sister was to start work today. As of this morning, she has pulled out. Why? because of ATG’s contract. Here’s what it allegedly included;
- Ten days unpaid holiday.
- One year contract.
- $20,000 fine if anyone complained about her work. Such as failure of a prop to be up to standard.
- $125,000 fine if she discussed the show with anyone (when she pointed out she had to do that to do her job properly she was told she would have to do her job without doing it).
- Terrible wages.
She’s not the first. Abdul’s Cousin’s contract said that if she left without permission she would have to pay a $100,000 fine. Abdul’s Brother signed an agreement that he would not take another job until ATG had offered him an agreement (this is not the same as an agreement that allows them first refusal – they were saying he could not take another job even if they had not counter-offered).
So Abdul’s Sister has turned down the job offer.
She was the only person other than Abdul’s Brother to consider working for ATG. Based on what just happened, I’ll be surprised if Abdul’s Brother signs. And if he does, I may have to fire him for his own sake.
Name’s above changed to protect identities.