The Cathay Pacific flight attendants' union has withdrawn acceptance of a pay deal less than a week after agreeing to it. Union leaders accused management of 'union busting' by bypassing them and dealing directly with staff. Union officials said the company asked staff last week to return acceptance letters directly to management. This came after the union accepted company proposals to scrap this year's unconditional pay rise in exchange for a 3.5 per cent increase for four extra hours of work per month. 'We feel like they used us,' said Flight Attendants' Union chairwoman Becky Kwan Siu-wa. 'They got many more letters back after we announced we accepted their offer, but now they're basically negating our role. 'They want to take away the rights of the union.' But airline officials said they were obliged to gain individual consent under a 1997 amendment to the Employment Ordinance. 'We have no intention of bypassing the union,' said company spokeswoman Quince Chong Wai-yan. 'We must obtain individual consent because this is a contract between the individual and the company.' The union is one of only two with collective bargaining power, which is not recognised by the law. Cathay Pacific has negotiated work agreements through the staff union since the association was formed following a strike 23 years ago. Union leaders cancelled their acceptance of the offer on Saturday. They have called a union meeting for Friday to explain the situation to members and discuss how to protect the union's role in negotiations. Ms Kwan said she had offered to collect the letters for the company to protect the union's position, but the company had refused. Ms Chong said Cathay was not ignoring the union, and had included the union's office as one of four drop-off points for the letters.