Cathay Pacific union calls off strike plans

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Hong Kong, China (4E) – Cathay Pacific union representatives announced on Thursday it had cancelled plans for a strike over the Christmas period after it reached an agreement with the airline for improvements in the working conditions of its staff.

The airline’s crew had threatened to stop serving alcohol and not smile at customers over their dispute with management on salary, which could potentially put several flights in jeopardy during the peak holiday season.

Representatives of the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union had earlier asked annual increases in salaries by 5 per cent to keep pace with inflation, which is higher than the 2 per cent increase the carrier is offering for 2013.

After a two-day negotiation mediated by Hong Kong’s Labor Department, the 6,000-member union had decided to call off its industrial action plans after it reached an agreement with the carrier.

Union chairwoman Dora Lai said on Thursday that the group believes it has achieved some significant improvements from the deal so it was willing to withdraw the previously announced strike. This also means that the union will not be pushing through with the strike it was earlier considering after the new year. She also wished the citizens and passengers for an enjoyable Christmas holidays.

John Slosar, Cathay pacific CEO, praised the agreement and described it as the “best possible outcome.” He also assured that passengers can now confidently go ahead with their holiday travel plans.

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