Cathay drops union demand

CATHAY Pacific has decided to backtrack on a call for cabin crew to reaffirm their financial support for the Flight Attendants' Union (FAU).

A spokesman said the airline had agreed to withdraw a request it made asking the 3,200 FAU members to contact the company if they still wanted the $50-a-month fees to be deducted from their salaries.

Cathay wrote to all FAU members this month and asked staff to contact them if they wished to continue with the procedure, which had been operating since the union was officially recognised in 1975.

The FAU claimed the move was inflammatory, coming so soon after the three-week dispute between its members and the company.

FAU spokeswoman Ms Anita Krishnan said: ''Most of our members came to us and said that they thought the company was trying to intimidate them.'' She added that about 200 union members who were worried about the letter, sent it to the union instead of the company.

A company spokesman said: ''After discussions with the union, we have agreed that we would withdraw the letter. It caused some concern with the union and confusion among staff.'' Talks between both sides have not reached an agreement on the issue of the first FAU member to be disciplined since the strike, despite a series of meetings over the past fortnight.

The FAU has informed the Legislative Council's monitoring body of the case of a striking Malaysian chief purser who was removed from the airline's flight attendants training team when she returned to work.

Moving back to the regular cabin crew has meant a $6,000-a-month salary cut.