Cathay Dragon

Dragonair cabin crew win 2pc pay rise

Airline bows to union demands for staff wages to increase over the coming year

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 4:25am

Dragonair will give its cabin crew members a 2 per cent pay rise in the coming year, in line with unionists' demands, the airline said yesterday.

The airline's announcement was largely welcomed by the Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association - the union that represents its 1,700 cabin crew.

This amity contrasted with the pay negotiations late last year for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair's parent, in which staff threatened industrial action because of a 2 per cent pay rise proposed by Cathay.

In an announcement to employees yesterday, Dragonair said "all cabin crew in all categories would have an average of 2 per cent increase in pay. The company would continue to put effort [into] taking care of the needs of [the] crew community."

But it warned: "However, the planning for 2013 and beyond has to be very cautious and prudent."

The pay rise will take effect on April 1.

Union chairman Michael Wong Kai-wo said the airline had acted on the union's demands.

"This year's focus is not about the pay, as union members understand the decline in passenger volume and an uncertain economy ahead," Wong said.

Tougher competition meant the airline had dropped its ticket prices, he noted.

But Wong urged the company to review its arrangements on rosters and so-called "red-eye" flights - referring to the requirement for cabin crew to work overnight with only an hour or so between shifts.

This practice was previously called "inhumane" by Cathay Pacific cabin crew, who later successfully pressed the company for amendments.

Late last year, an impasse in negotiations between Cathay Pacific management and its flight attendants almost led to a strike at Christmas.

The company proposed a 2 per cent pay rise, while the union asked for 5 per cent.

The union ultimately decided not to push for a higher offer for its 6,000 members, and industrial action was called off.