Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific set to offer pay rise to avert Christmas strikes by staff

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 November, 2013, 5:23am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 November, 2013, 5:23am

Cathay Pacific is optimistic it can avoid potential industrial action by its cabin crew during the busy Christmas season based on its annual pay rise plan for next year, a source close to the matter said yesterday.

It is not clear how big the increase will be, but it is understood that management expect it to be higher than the 2 per cent increase given last year.

The source said there had been cordial discussions between the airline and its union.

A Cathay Pacific spokesman said: "Salary adjustment is a corporate decision and a number of factors will be carefully considered. The discussions with the union focused on items relating to operational issues."

He said the accumulated average pay increase to staff and crew over the past 10 years was about 33 per cent, well above the 15 per cent rise in the Composite Consumer Price Index for the same period.

The spokesman added that Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Dragonair planned to hire about 2,200 people in 2014, including some 1,200 cabin crew.

On Tuesday, the 6,000-member cabin crew union demanded a pay rise of 7.5 per cent.

It also urged the company to extend the retirement age from 55 to 65, to review the difference in promotion prospects between local and overseas crew and to cancel an eight-year cap for housing allowances.

The source said the airline was positive that the staff would get better rises than last year, as "the business performed better in the first half of this year than in the same period last year".

The airline's net profit in the first half of the year amounted to HK$24 million.

Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union vice-chairman Julian Yau Chi-hung said that the union was holding firm for a pay rise of 7.5 per cent this year.

Separately, a source said the airline failed to reach a deal over pay rise demands with its pilots union. The 1,900-member union has been authorised by members to impose work-to-rule action.