Hong Kong Airlines crew members may mount a “No Putonghua” protest on July 1 to express dissatisfaction at the carrier’s handling of an 18-hour sit-in by a group of mainland passengers last weekend.
The passengers refused to budge Friday night after their Shanghai-bound flight was delayed due to air traffic control on the mainland. The airline is believed to have paid the passengers HK$800 each and apologized for the delay, angering staff who did not think the passengers should be compensated for a factor beyond the carrier’s control, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.
Some airline staff then suggested on Facebook that colleagues should express dissatisfaction by not speaking Putonghua at work on July 1. The idea has generated support online but some are worried that the carrier might not be too concerned about worker sentiment, given the company is backed by mainland investors.
A Hong Kong Airlines spokesman said the company maintains a professional attitude to all of its passengers and all crew members serve the needs of passengers from different regions with the corresponding languages.
Hong Kong Airlines staff are not covered by a union and any action that is not organized by trade union does not have legal protection, leaving staff open to company action, the report said, citing Loy Wong, organizing secretary of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.
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