Cathay Pacific cabin crew threatens 'no smiles or booze' over salary dispute
Cathay Pacific flight attendants have threatened to withhold food, alcohol and smiles from passengers during the Christmas holidays over a salary dispute.
smh.com.au reports that the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union, which is demanding a five per cent salary increase, said the 'work-to-rule' measures could also throw flight schedules into chaos.
'We will be selective in providing our services,' said union general secretary Tsang Kwok-fung.
He added that the form and date of the action approved in Monday's vote is yet to be decided.
'This could include not smiling at passengers, not providing certain types of beverages - such as alcohol - or stop serving meals,' he said.
'In a nutshell it means passengers will still be able to reach their destinations except they are paying a five-star price to get a three-star service,' Tsang said.
Work-to-rule is a form of industrial action in which employees do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract, sometimes adhering to safety or other regulations precisely to cause a slowdown.
'We will follow the rules strictly, such as offloading oversize luggage, that could cause a slowdown or even delay of flights,' Tsang said.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the protest was sparked by the Hong Kong-based airline's announcement last month that it was giving a two per cent pay rise to employees in 2013, on top of a discretionary one-month bonus for 2012, falling short of the union's demand.
The 6,000-strong union told the carrier to resume negotiations or face the Christmas action and a possible strike during the New Year period.
Cathay Pacific was also embroiled in a messy staff dispute earlier this month when a stewardess threatened to throw coffee in the face of the daughter of former prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra.
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