Cathay Pacific flight attendants drop strike plan

6 Apr 2010

Flight attendants of Cathay Pacific (CX) have decided not to strike for now, despite some unresolved issues between their union and the management.

CX’s Flight Attendants Union (FAU) had earlier contemplated industrial action this week, which would have disrupted the travel plans of hundreds of Easter holidaymakers returning to work and classes (see news).

The bone of contention was a recent policy that CX had introduced, requiring staff to work a minimum of 70 hours monthly before they could swap shifts. Under the agreement signed by both parties at the Hongkong Labour Department yesterday, that condition will be scrapped, with the carrier also promising to consult FAU before it announces any employee guidelines in the future.

But the flight crew continue to be concerned about the airline replacing their local colleagues with foreign employees on certain routes, which have been described as “better paying” (in terms of allowances). Examples are those between Hongkong and Melbourne or Hongkong and Tokyo.

CX management said these latest staffing conditions were only part of a trial scheme that would last until May.

A meeting on April 23 between FAU and management will be held to discuss this and other remaining issues. Should there be a stalemate, the union promises to stage a new rally on May 1, Labour Day.

The FAU maintains it has never intended to use passengers as bargaining chips in the fight for its members’ rights.

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Margie T Logarta

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