Cathay Pacific cabin crews are set to launch industrial motion over Christmas and New Yr, in a blow to the Hong Kong service’s restoration from a pandemic that crippled flights and slashed passenger ranges.
The airline’s flight attendants union stated it was urging members to “work to rule” — conserving strictly to contract phrases — due to “inhumane” flight patterns and extreme workloads.
The motion comes through the peak vacation season, however Cathay stated flight providers would proceed as scheduled, including “there isn’t a want for concern . . . we’ll proceed to take heed to and act upon suggestions from our crew”.
Hong Kong has been encouraging guests and journey with the gradual leisure of Covid measures. It scrapped lodge quarantine in September and final week began to allow inbound travellers to visit bars and restaurants in their first three days after arrival.
The Asian monetary hub’s financial system has taken successful from the persevering with pandemic, with officers anticipating a 3.2 per cent contraction in annual gross home product after GDP shrank 4.5 per cent within the third quarter.
Though flying ranges are choosing up, Cathay solely operated at 20 per cent of its pre-pandemic passenger capability ranges final month. The service is focusing on 70 per cent of pre-pandemic passenger ranges by the top of subsequent 12 months and full capability by 2024.
Nonetheless, pilots and cabin crew complained about “stressful” working conditions after the airline laid off 1000’s of workers in 2020 because of the pandemic, whereas many extra left after pay cuts and due to robust quarantine guidelines.
“We hereby urge you to take actual actions to assist the flight attendants’ union in combating for what you deserve,” the cabin crew union of the Chinese language territory’s de facto flagship service stated in an announcement.
It stated it had acquired 100 per cent assist for industrial motion from members at an emergency assembly in early December. A strike could be “the final resort”, it added.
In a letter to chief govt Augustus Tang this month, the union pointed to “perpetual manpower cuts, extra workload and allowance cuts” for cabin crew. It stated it had acquired “quite a few” fatigue stories and suggestions from members on the roster who had been struggling “inhumane [flight] patterns with minimal relaxation time”.
Earlier than the lay-offs in 2020, Cathay had about 10,000 cabin crew members, in keeping with the union. There have been about 5,600 as of September this 12 months after 1000’s had been sacked and a whole lot of others left the corporate, they stated.
Cathay also lost greater than 1 / 4 of its pilots between December 2019 and the third quarter of this 12 months, the full slipping to round 2,400. Pilots complained about “perpetual quarantine” guidelines and deep pay cuts of as much as 60 per cent that had affected their morale.
Ronald Lam, Cathay’s chief buyer and industrial officer, who will take over from Tang subsequent month as chief govt, stated final month that the airline would act as a “constructive driving power behind the revival of Hong Kong’s worldwide aviation hub standing”.