By Henry Williams.
Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union members
Flight attendants at Hong Kong’s flag carrier airline are planning to strike at some point between New Year and Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), according to the China Daily.
The Cathay Pacific employees are seeking a pay increase beyond the 2% they have been offered by the airline, and an end to plans to fly staff in from other bases outside of Hong Kong.
Spokesperson for the airline, Liza Ng, says the airline is currently dealing with a deficit of almost one billion Hong Kong dollars, and salary negotiations have to take this in to account:
“The management would not return to the negotiating table if the union does not remove the threat of industrial action.”
Before considering strikes, staff are considering work-to-rule, putting safety first… which one would hope they were doing to begin with. The union’s general secretary said:
“The basic role of a flight attendant is to take care of safety measures on flights and to take passengers from one point to another point safely.”
Flight attendants would still likely continue to serve water, but “non-essential” items like alcohol would be off the menu. Some passengers might reasonably consider alcohol a critical part of long-haul flying, so the prospect of ‘dry’ flying is just as daunting as an out-and-out strike.
CNN says the FAU is not considering striking until Spring Festival in order to give travellers time to make other plans.
The union last walked out in 1993, again over the Spring Festival holiday. They spent a total of 17 days off the job.