By Henry Williams.
In a bit of very welcome pre-Christmas cheer, flight attendants have reached a deal with Cathay Pacific to avoid costly strikes over the holidays.
Airline management and the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union reportedly signed an agreement this afternoon, despite previously failing to reach an agreement after a marathon 20 hour meeting on Wednesday.
Dora Lai Yuk-sim, chairwoman of the union, said:
“We are very happy we have finally come to mutual agreement following two days of talks,”
The agreement will limit the increase in the number of non-local cabin crews, and produce more favourable scheduling for flights. Additionally, an extra HK$500 payment will be made for back-to-back shifts on long-haul “red-eye” flights.
Flight attendants had previously threatened to work on a “safety first”, no-smiles basis, before eventually resorting to a full strike. The airline says they were forced to make only a 2% pay rise offer because of financial losses, and higher fuel costs.
The staff have obviously not been taking the disagreement to heart though, as just a week ago, they produced this wonderfully festive flash-mob for Operation Santa Claus:
With smiles all round, the new rules will take effect starting next month, and will last for two years.