Cathay Pacific

Cathay union seeks staff views on strike

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2007, 12:00am

The Cathay Pacific flight attendants' union is polling members about whether to take industrial action if the airline refuses to drop its new medical scheme.

The union will stage another demonstration tomorrow against the plan, which requires staff to pay HK$30 to HK$50 to visit a doctor. On Monday, Cathay management offered 10 free clinic visits a year to its 10,000 Hong Kong-based staff and their families. But the union said it would not accept any arrangement that required staff to pay.

Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union chairwoman Becky Kwan Siu-wah said: 'E-mails have been sent to gather opinions. We have not checked replies yet. The union will talk more about it with members on Thursday.'

In tomorrow's protest, union members will march from Chater Garden in Central to Pacific Place, where the airline's majority owner, Swire Group, has its offices.

Ms Kwan also accused the management of refusing to discuss other issues with them, including holiday pay, annual leave and an equal retirement age for all staff.

'We are not pushing them to solve all these problems before Christmas. We just want them to promise that they will talk to us about all these issues some time next year.'

Speaking on an RTHK programme yesterday, Cathay's general manager for corporate communications, Dane Cheng, said other issues raised by the union had been discussed many times and this was not the time to address the problems.

'The new medical plan was introduced as some staff told us the old plan was not good enough and they wanted better protection. We have listened to the union's voices and have made a compromise,' he said.