Eighteen Cathay Pacific pilots sacked last month during their industrial dispute are asking the courts to overturn the dismissals, citing a lack of disciplinary procedures. The pilots, who joined the airline between March 1985 and November 1998, say their sackings were 'a result of conduct that would be subject to contractual disciplinary procedures'. But no such procedures were followed, 'as would have been required', according to a High Court writ launching the action on Tuesday and made available yesterday. 'On a true construction of the plaintiffs' contracts of employment . . . termination could not have been effected unless or until a decision to take disciplinary action in the form of dismissal had been reached in accordance with the procedure,' the writ says. Lawyers for the pilots are asking the court to declare the terminations, dated July 9, invalid. Alternatively, the court is asked to hold Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary, Veta Ltd, liable for damages for wrongful dismissal. No amount was specified. Fifty-two pilots were sacked during the height of the continuing dispute, with one later reinstated. However, 50 pilots were given no reason for their dismissals, which came amid industrial action by the pilots' union over rostering and pay issues. Cathay Pacific employed 14 of the plaintiffs, while the remaining four pilots were employed by Veta, the writ says. All but two of the pilots are Hong Kong-based. The pilots are seeking a declaration of a breach of the Employment Ordinance if the court finds the companies' complaint against them should have been subject to disciplinary procedures. The ordinance safeguards the rights of employees to belong to trade unions.