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Cathay Pacific looks forward to further talks

02 Apr 2010


In response to the Flight Attendants Union’s threat to take industrial action, Cathay Pacific Airways today (Friday) made the following statement:

Cathay Pacific Airways looks forward to continuing the constructive dialogue with the FAU and is disappointed that the union should have threatened to take industrial action when the differences between the two sides have narrowed to one outstanding issue.

Any industrial action in whatever form is totally unjustified and irresponsible, not just to the public but also to the vast majority of the cabin crew who, we are confident, will act professionally and responsibly.

Cathay Pacific Airways General Manager Inflight Service Mr Charlie Stewart-Cox, who led the CX team in the discussions with FAU, noted that the issue that originally triggered cabin crew’s concern was the change to the guideline for flight attendants to swap flights.

“That guideline has already been cancelled, and will not be reintroduced,” he said.

He said that the whole issue of the swapping guidelines had come about because of the company’s need to address the growing incidences of a small minority of crew consistently swapping well below the minimum guarantee of 70 hours a month.

He clarified that all that was asked of the FAU was to include in an agreement with them a clause stating that the ISD Management will look into this problem and will discuss with FAU any proposals to address and solve it. It was our goal to work with the FAU on this issue and to keep them fully informed of any proposed solution.

“If the FAU does not want to be involved in the proposals, that is not a problem. We believed this clause had already been agreed on in the earlier discussions so we are quite surprised by the FAU's position,” he emphasized, adding that the Inflight Services Department needed to reserve the right to address this problem, and incorporate it in the agreement.

He also made it clear that he is prepared to meet with FAU once every two months as requested by the union. "We had actually proposed four high level meetings a year in addition to the regular meetings, but are happy to do this bi-monthly. This was communicated to the FAU yesterday after they walked out of the meeting. So this issue has been resolved, " he said.

Significant progress has been made during the talks over the last two weeks and we are always ready to resume the discussions to iron out the remaining issue.

He added that the Labour Department has invited the two sides to resume the talks on Wednesday 7 April. “We look forward to that,” he said.