Cathay Pacific flight attendants union seeks 'realistic' pay increase of 5 pc
Request for five per cent increase for flight attendants among the smallest in recent years
Phila Siu and Ada Lee
Cathay Pacific's flight attendants' union is calling for a "realistic" pay rise of 5 per cent for next year - one of the smallest increases sought in recent years.
Dora Lai Yuk-sim, chairwoman of the Flight Attendants Union, said it was aware that the airline's business performance had not been optimistic this year.
"We have taken into consideration the company's business performance and we hope the company can seriously think about our demands," Lai said.
The airline reported a HK$935-million loss in the first half of the year, compared with a HK$2.8-billion profit during the same period a year earlier.
The union called for an 8 per cent pay rise for this year but was eventually given 5 per cent. Cathay Pacific awarded an increase of 4.5 per cent last year, to the union's dissatisfaction. It threatened to take industrial action over the Lunar New Year holiday but did not carry out the threat.
The 6,000-strong union also listed 13 other demands in a proposal recently submitted to the airline's management. It is calling for a year-end bonus of one month and the scrapping of a cross-base flying scheme for non-Hong Kong cabin crew that it fears may see local workers gradually replaced.
The union's general secretary, Tsang Kwok-fung, said he was aware that many companies in Hong Kong referred to pay rises awarded by Cathay Pacific when deciding on their own increases, but the union decided to ask for 5 per cent to be "realistic" after consulting its members.
The union will meet with the airline's management today to discuss the matter. A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said the airline had regular discussions with the union and its cabin crew on various topics. She said the carrier met with the union annually towards the end of the year to discuss its requests and the dialogue was continuing.
Meanwhile, human resources consultancy ECA International expected wages for Hong Kong's office workers to increase by 4.5 per cent next year, the same rate as this year. The figure is slightly lower than the global average of 5.5 per cent.
Taking inflation into account, the forecast increase would be 1.5 per cent, compared to 0.7 per cent this year, according to an ECA survey of 115 companies in Hong Kong.