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Militants leading strikers


I REFER to the letters from Messrs John Greene and Alan Crowther (South China Morning Post, January 26).

I find it amazing how laymen suddenly become adept at their knowledge of how to operate an international airline in the world competitiveness of the 1990s.

Mr Greene's statement that ''it's time Swire axed the Cathay bosses'' and Mr Crowther's statement of ''the Victorian mill-owners' '' attitude displayed by Cathay, simply show the ignorance displayed by laymen and are not worthy of further comment.

It is a well known fact that Cathay crew and flight attendants enjoy some of the best terms and conditions of any world airline, and it is management that has been responsible for this and for building the airline into the reputation it enjoys today, notConcepta, Supatra, Candy and Rachel.

So, a flight attendant has occasionally to work ''below'' the allotted status. Tut-tut - how demeaning, what a loss of face, but not of money or conditions. Has not any workperson at some time in their life done some form of ''menial'' task in order to finish the day's work. I'm sure we all have, but did not go on strike because of it.

I would suggest that by far the majority of attendants did not want to participate in the strike but are being led by militants, and we now have every splinter union jumping on the bandwagon.

We all know what happened to English and Australian industry partly through militant union leaders over the past decades and it's a pity the rank and file of cabin attendants cannot appreciate this.

I, for one, have total faith in Cathay management.

D. W. STANSFIELD Discovery Bay THIS union has no direct interest in the current dispute between Cathay Pacific Airways and its flight attendants, however, we find the needless friction disturbing.

The dispute now centres on the controversial paragraph insisted upon by CPA management, which might be summarised as reservation of the right to revenge.

Management says it wants to be free to discipline strikers who have victimised or intimidated other workers. Any disciplining felt to be desirable, should be left to the authorities responsible for enforcing the relevant provisions of the Trade Union Ordinance, sections 46 and 47, which make certain intimidation offences punishable by fines and imprisonment.

JOVITA O. LEANO Treasurer and Member of the Executive United Migrant Workers