HONG KONG (AFP) – Pilots of Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific were due to start work-to-rule action Thursday after long-running pay talks broke down, raising the prospect of delays and cancellations in the run-up to Christmas
Union leaders announced the move – which will see pilots work only their contractual hours – as the latest round of negotiations with airline management over pay and working hours failed.
“It is unfortunate that a year of negotiations has brought us to this point,” said Chris Beebe, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association (HKAOA). The union represents more than 2,000 Cathay pilots and said 92 per cent of members had approved the action. “The pilot members, who are based in Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States, will be instructed to perform their assigned duties in strict conformance with their existing conditions of service,” HKAOA said in a statement late Wednesday. Beebe said the union “looks forward to resuming talks with management for a fairer, more equitable agreement on pay”.
A lack of pilots has led to some having to work additional shifts, reports said. “The pilot shortage has always been serious. Some are called to work twice a month on their rostered days off,” one pilot told the South China Morning Post Thursday.