Cathay Pacific flight attendants protest at HK airport

AP News
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Posted: May 19, 2015 10:43 PM

HONG KONG (AP) — Several hundred Cathay Pacific flight attendants were camped inside Hong Kong's airport on Tuesday after union members voted to protest new job contracts offered by the airline.

Union member Ada So said about 400 cabin staff had gathered in front of the Cathay check-in desks.

She said more than 600 union members cast votes, with most in favor of taking job action.

They said they are protesting a cut to some cabin crew allowances, pay discrepancies for recently hired junior staff and a loss of legal support for workers involved in court cases such as civil action stemming from a passenger assault.

The protesters said they plan to remain at the airport until the company responds to their demands. If it doesn't, they said they would step up their actions.

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's biggest airline, said it has no plans to change its "double-digit percentage" pay increase for staff promoted to permanent status after an initial 3-year term, and that crew meal allowances had an overall raise in the last half-yearly review. The carrier added that while some wording was dropped in a staff manual for handling unruly passengers, legal support remains unchanged.

The airport said in a statement that it was "taking measures to minimize the effects of the union's actions on airport operations."