Hello, Just wondering if anyone works for or has worked for Vinnell arabia in Saudi?
Hello, Just wondering if anyone works for or has worked for Vinnell arabia in Saudi?
I worked with Vinnell Arabia, when they won the contract to provide Fire Protection out side Riyadh KSA. I arrived on 11/17/01 and on 12/1/01 the USAF Personnel were free to move up into Afghanistan.
We lived on the Saudi Nat Guard/Vinnell Compound, it was the “American Compound” that was attacked by terrorist in early 03 you saw it on the news. I lost good friends in that attack.
Vinnell like most Contract Fire Protection Departments took the management stance that Fire Fighters are like any other worker; they did not understand us or our needs. We had a GREAT Chief that taught us (those who were not useto to the Contract Fire Biz) about the way of the Contract world and at the same time taught the Office Managers about the fire world.
It was an interesting learning experience.
Vinnell gave us good food, good health care, we had “transport SUV” that we could use to go in to town or out into the desert. The pay was good and now it is better. At that time you did not need to be an EMT-P now you do I see in the latest DoD add.
We worked 24 on 24 off with a “Kelly day” off and there was all the OT you wanted.
All in all working for Vinnell was not bad at all. I would go back to the KSA as an Asst Chief in a moment.
If you wish to have a more in depth conversation let me have your E-mail address and I can hook you up with 3 or 4 people who were there from 01 to 03
garypoe4454 must be Gary Franck!?
From the input I have received Vinnell is one of the companies to stay away from unless you are desperate for a job, it is very political. There are a few good guys still there, but they are battling the political red tape and worried about the back stabbing from their supervisors. Overall a very negative situation.
From what I have heard Vinnell won the contract again, but they pay will drop along with some benefits. There will also be little or no OT as extra positions were bid in to cover leave.
Vinnell also promoted a young chief and the political situation has the good guys still there running scared. The people I know that have worked there tell me people are walking on egg shells and nobody trusts the decisions by Vinnell and some leaders in the department.
Overall it is a negative place and should be avoided unless you are desperate for a job.
From what I have heard Vinnell re-won the contract, but it resulted in less pay and almost no OT. They promoted a young chief and the few good guys left are foced to tread lightly as they can't trust leadership there.
I will break down the information on Vinnell using a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being good:
The company: -1
The leadership: 2, There are a few good people there, but have very little contract experience
Trust In the Leadership: -4
Pay and Benefits: 2, it was above 5 but the new contract added more positions and reduced the overall pay.
overall experience: 1, only work here if you are desperate.
I understand there are bad feelings about any place but does anyone know anyone there now or how it is now instead of just hearing through the grapevine. The only reason I ask is because they have numerous openings and would like the current scoop.
If you want to get in for a few months to make some quick money do it, but when they are fully staffed you will be luck to make 5,000 a month.
So besides the company and management BS what is the other conditions?? Living, any good working fires, food, co-workers for the most part, equipment??
The working conditions are ok there. Most of the guys split a villa to live in. The equipment is modern for the most part, but being on a established base there is a good fire prevention program and very few fires. This is an different contract. No contractors are permitted to use the Dinning facilty, PX, or APO. This is a GOV issue and causes problems. There are several places to eat on base and the FD villas have stoves, etc.
If you don't mind email me at email@example.com please
I just found out that Vinnell cut the pay and are now paying standby pay for 9 hours a day at 5.00 a hour. This prevents the fire fighters from making their base pay, basically you will be working in Saudi for around 50 to 60 k a year max. I knew this was comming from the inputs I have received. Vinnell simply bid this wrong.
I can't email at this point sorry as it will get some people in trouble if people know who I am.
I am currently working for Vinnell at the moment. While a little of the information that has been presented here has some validity, the writer apparantly is getting most of his information erroneously. If there hard feelings towards management here I am not aware of them, and highly encourage anyone who has issues to bring them forward so they can be dealt with appropriately.
If anyone wants to know the real scoop here at Eskan please contact myself or someone who is actually here at the minute. Dont rely on second hand garbage generated by the callous and uniformed.
How may we contact yourself or somebody working there at the minute? Real information would be a lovely thing to have.
I am also currently with Vinnell in SA. The working conditions here are actually pretty decent and there are no serious issues with the leadership within the department. However, it is true that they did make a major change to our pay scale which includes a standby pay of 5.00 an hour from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM. This is pretty drastic and is going to seriously affect our overtime pay somewhere to the tune of about three to four thousand dollars this month.
Slow down all. I didn't call out anybody directly in any negative fashion. I simply stated what is out on the street at the moment. I will summerize those now.
Vinnell in general treats the FD poorly. True.
Vinnell is cutting pay. True
Vinell did promote a young chief. True.
FD can't use the DFAC, APO, PX. True.
Vinnell is still short staffed. True.
Once fully staffed, pay will drop more. True.
Therre are enternal issues at the FD. True.
If nothing I say has merritt then way are people getting defensive? There is nothing negative about anybody in the station at all. Its all derected at Vinnell and the poor decisons made.
I am slated to deploy on the 6th of June to Saudi. I am new to the world of contract firefighting and was wondering if I could get in contact with some of you who are already at Eskan Village. Thanks!
I'm at Eskan. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have.
email@example.com. Be careful. There are a lot of issues going on there.
The problems that have been mentioned before are only getting worse. The newest thing is demoting driver/engineers down to firefighter/emt. This is due to them being unable to hire ff/emt's with haz-mat tech certs. So they hire at a higher position then demote and hire more at the higher position. They say that the pay will not go down. Another new thing is the firefighters had to hire an attorney to dispute the numerous possible Saudi labor law violations. The reply from Vinnell/Arabia was take us to court. They then said if they go to court they will just drop the contract. The ff's were required to sign a paper saying they agree to the new changes to there employement agreement. If they did not, they would be released in 30 days. They say its not a contract but an agreement. There only reply during all of the meeting was "Take it or Leave it". It appears that the parent company Northrop/Grumman ethic department has nothing to say about this. Will try to keep up with all new developments as they come up.
There are new things happening at this fire department. They are hiring driver/operators, then once they get there, they demote them to ff/emt status. This is due to them being unable to hire ff/emt's with haz-mat tech certs. They then hire driver/operators to fill those empty positions. All driver/operators with EMT have the posibility of being demoted. Thats pretty bad. The ff's had to hire an attorney to take Vinnell/Arabia to court for possible Saudi labor law violations. Vinnell/Arabia's reply was take us to court. They continued to say that if they loose the court case, they will drop the contract. There whole company attitude to the firefighters was "take it or leave it". The partent company Northrop/Grumman's ethic department seems not to worried about the whole things as they have not gotten involved. The ff's were told they had to sign the amendment to the employee agreement or they would be released and returned to point of hire within 30 days. One thing that has to be said the the members of the fire department are of the finest caliber and continue to do there job to the best of there ability. To bad we can say the same about Vinnell/Arabia. Will try to keep you all involved with the constant changes to the contract.
Here is a way you can sign anything you want and still leave yourself a way to seek legal advice.
As you stated they said you need to sign a document that basically states take it or leave it. If you sign it you can add a statement along these lines;
I still maintain my legal right to seek legal support, but I signed this document because I need employment.
Since Vinnell stipulated that you must sign it or they would release you, you can legally put a statement like that. I would however consult a lawyer about the exact way to state something similiar.
The bottom line if you just sign that satement you have put the power of the labor law on the side of Vinnell.
Also remember that if you go to court in Saudi and loose, you can always go to a us lawyer and file again. Since you are oversee's you have this option.