CX pilots vote for industrial action over pay dispute

10 Nov 2014 by Clement Huang

Passengers travelling with Cathay Pacific could face delays this coming winter, after the airline's pilots voted in favour of industrial action following dissatisfaction over a proposed pay rise.

As reported in the South China Morning Post, 93 per cent of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association members voted to push ahead with a work-to-rule protest – the first since 2001.

If a resolution is not reached, this would mean pilots will refuse to work outside of their contractual commitments, particularly during rostered days off. This could result in flight delays and cancellations during the year’s peak travel season.

As previously reported by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific (see here), Cathay Pacific originally proposed a 10 per cent increase in pay, split across three years. While the rise would be higher than that offered in Europe and New Zealand, it appears that Cathay’s pilots aren’t satisfied by it.

The Pilots Union has stated that industrial action is likely, but emphasised that it would be engaging in more talks with the airline. According to the SCMP, the protest may not happen if an agreement is reached.

Cathay Pacific pilots will remember a similar pay disagreement back in 2001, which led to the sacking of 51 pilots – 49 of them occurring in a single day. The decision ultimately led to a lengthy legal dispute between the “49ers” and the airline.

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Clement Huang

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