Cathay orders union out of offices
CATHAY Pacific has told one of its trade unions that they have to get out of the airline's Kai Tak offices by the end of the month.
Sources inside the company say Cathay's Director of Flight Operations, Captain Gerry Clemmow, has given the Hongkong Aircrew Officers' Association (AOA) four weeks notice to quit its sixth floor office in the Concorde Road building.
A letter sent to the 800-strong cockpit crew union says the company has reviewed its policy of granting the AOA free space in the Hongkong flag carrier's offices ''following recent events leading to the Flight Attendants' Union [FAU] strike''.
It added: ''Times have changed since accommodation was first provided . . . and unions should be seen to be independent of any company support.'' The letter was dated January 26, three days before the Flight Attendants' Union decided to end its three-week strike.
Captain Clemmow said the letter would act as a notice for the union to move out of the offices and he imposed a February 28 deadline.
The AOA's General Secretary, Mr John Findlay refused to comment on the letter, but one of the other Cathay trade unions denied the company had also asked them to quit.
Local Staff Union chairman Mr Albert Wong Shun-yee said: ''I've not heard about this and we certainly have not had a letter like that.'' It was unclear last night if the Flight Attendants' Union had received a similar letter as nobody from the cabin crew union was available. A Cathay spokeswoman would not comment on the letter.
Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that Exco had rejected pleas from Legco for the Governor to order arbitration in the recent cabin crew strike, but backed calls for a review of Hongkong labour laws.
Exco met on Tuesday and turned down the Legco resolution calling for Mr Chris Patten to appoint an arbitrator or board of inquiry into the dispute which although ended last week, has still not been officially settled.
The Governor has asked the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr John Chan Cho-chak to consider if current employment legislation is adequate.
after both sides called for changes in the law.
The latest talks between management and the FAU ended on Monday with no more scheduled.
Cathay yesterday said that its schedules were now back to normal and all flights contained the usual number of cabin crew.