The 49ers II

(4 customer reviews)


  • Author Name: John Warham
  • Publication Date: 15/08/2015
  • Format: Hardback

In stock (can be backordered)

ISBN: 9781910508879

Categories: ,

When a group of 49 Cathay Pacific pilots were fired in 2001, one of the most ground-breaking legal cases in aviation history followed as The 49ers faced a David and Goliath struggle against their ex-employer.

In his first book, The 49ers ? The True Story, Captain John Warham describes how the pilots fought to be exonerated and have their professional reputations restored. It ends in November 2009 when the High Court in Hong Kong ruled in the pilots’ favour.

July 2010; after Cathay dispute the judgment, The 49ers II – The Rest of the Story finds John and his Band of Brother’s facing an appeal court hearing, continuing the fight for justice that had overshadowed their lives and those of their families for almost 10 years. With a costly legal roller coaster in motion and a question mark over his financial future, life for John becomes very different from that of a senior captain with a prestigious airline.

But this is not the only battle that the author has to fight. As well as providing an eye-opening insider’s view of the aviation industry, The 49ers II describes the immense personal cost to those involved. It is a remarkable story of resilience and determination, told with can dour and wit.

4 reviews for The 49ers II

  1. Book Guild

    (From Amazon): Riveting, disturbing, inspiring – a must read for anyone wishing to or currently working and or living in Hong Kong. This book includes a thorough critique of the Hong Kong legal process – I will never view it the same way again. This book and its predecessor should be required reading for all people working for large multi-national commercial entities.

  2. Book Guild

    (From Amazon): The veracity of the events is indisputable.
    A gripping read and feel good too.
    The overall thrust of this book and the events portrayed applies to almost any industry and almost any country. It shouldn’t be viewed as a closed book – this book invites you to contemplate the relationships you have with your own employer and the personal values with which you approach the world at large.

  3. Book Guild

    (From Amazon): An excellent story of a man who found himself facing tragedy and betrayal. Life keeps throwing him to the mat but, time and time again, he just picks himself up and returns to the fray. Very inspirational stuff. He delivers an excellent assessment of where the airline industry is today. This book is required reading for all current and aspiring airline pilots.

  4. Moontime

    Hong Kong is not a place for the faint-hearted. Warham, through his 2 books, demonstrates that “corruption” is hiding in the wings, even in an “established” economy. Some of the main actors in this saga have since spread their wings – Tony Tyler to head IATA and Lord Neuberger to head the UK Supreme Court. The latter found the former had broken the Law and defamed 17 professional pilots; and yet is doesn’t seem to have affected the former too much. This book is one of the few references to that.

    It’s sad that some of Warham’s anger surfaced when he recounts Neuberger’s reasoning on why he should receive reduced defamation damages. A more logical counter-point, rather than emotional, would have been more persuasive. Otherwise, the second (waiting) phase of a 13 year, 3 months and 6 days’ battle is recounted with humour, candour, wit and measured respect. Not bad when one considers his health suffered, he became nearly bankrupt and lost his career – all for an attempted union bust.

    People – even pilots – are human therefore the underlying love stories complement the bitter, industrial struggle. I suspect that other 49ers fared even worse in their personal damage. It’s extremely regrettable that Cathay Pacific’s management practices tainted an otherwise impeccable airline and mirrored outdated corporate raiding from decades earlier.

    It’s not often the legal profession is exposed with such clarity, either. The 13-year process alone is a signpost to inefficiency, abuse and ineffectiveness. Nonetheless, Cathay’s barrister, Huggins, portrays a humorous picture of a Dickensian Canute-like character attempting to persuade sharper minds “there was no lie”.

    The Book Guild classes this story as “Business/Self-Help”. I’d class this as an epitome on how not to run a business (or a legal system) and, furthermore, an example on perseverance conquering “the black dog”.

    This book is not for the feint-hearted either – you’ll need a grasp of legal basics, a tolerance for swear words, rhetorical questions and strong opinions. Nonetheless, it’s a powerful read, off-beat and, sadly, a reflection on still contemporary business thinking.

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