Cathay flight crews vow industrial action as deadline lapses
Cathay Pacific flight attendants are planning industrial action after the airline’s management failed to meet a 3pm Tuesday deadline to say whether it would resume salary talks.
The 6,000-strong Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union plans to hold a members’ meeting next Monday to discuss what action to take.
Union vice-chairman Julian Yau Chi-hung declined to say on Tuesday when they would begin any industrial action, but that it might come during the year-end holiday season.
The union’s decision came after airline management failed to meet the 3pm deadline set by the union, which was trying to get the company to resume year-end talks over wages and other releated matters.
Cathay last week announced a 2 per cent pay rise for its cabin crew and ground staff next year. But the union is pushing for 5 per cent and demanding that flying schedules be improved and a cross-base flying scheme for non-Hong Kong based employees be scrapped.
Some employees fear that the cross-based flying scheme might be part of a hidden agenda to gradually replace Hong Kong-based flight attendants with their cheaper overseas colleagues.
Yau said the 2 per cent rise in their basic salary would be offset by the airline’s plan to shorten their flights – thereby reducing their working hours and pay.
The union was willing to give up the 2 per cent rise in exchange for improved flight schedules and the scrapping of the cross-base flying scheme, Yau said.
Yau urged the company to return to negotiations and resolve their differences.