Hong Kong cabin crew members have been up in arms recently over their airlines’ uniform policy put into effect last year requiring that HK staff must wear pins emblazoned with the Chinese flag.
Dubai-based airline Emirates introduced its new uniform policy last January, calling for cabin crew staff to wear flag pins according to their own nationality. According to Hong Kong Free Press, in March, management dictated that Hong Kong staff must sport pins of the Chinese flag in addition to the flag of their autonomous territory.
A spokesperson from Emirates declared the whole system a success:
The aim was to celebrate the international team that we have on board each flight, as well as to help both our customers and cabin crew teams to make an instant connection – whether it is finding comfort and assistance, or common ground to start a conversation. We’ve received very positive feedback on this initiative to date.
Supposedly, the Hong Kong/Chinese flag rule came about after mysterious complaints from mainland staff. “This was evaluated and addressed and a compromise reached,” stated the spokesperson.
HKFP reports that the Hong Kong crew resent regulations, but fear that failure of uniform checks will affect chances of promotion. In case of failure to wear both flag pins, management have purportedly threatened the unpleasant punishment of taking away the Hong Kong pin altogether and forcing staff to wear the Chinese flag pin alone.
More than 500 crew members speaking either Mandarin or Cantonese are currently employed under Emirates.
We have to assume that the HK staff would be much happier to wear pins with these images instead.