Date
14 December 2017
Scenes like this are in prospect after Cathay Pacific pilots voted to launch industrial action -- or it could be utter chaos with passengers facing massive delays. Photo: Bloomberg
Scenes like this are in prospect after Cathay Pacific pilots voted to launch industrial action -- or it could be utter chaos with passengers facing massive delays. Photo: Bloomberg

Cathay passengers face knotty holiday as pilot protest looms

Cathay Pacific pilots are set to launch industrial action after rejecting a pay offer, raising the specter of a frustrating holiday season for passengers.

The pilots voted overwhelmingly for a work-to-rule protest, expected to begin in 42 days, or around the busiest time for Christmas travel, Apple Daily reported Friday.

The action means the pilots will refuse to work during rostered days off and do nothing more than the minimum required by their contracts.

The decision came after the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers’ Association that represents the pilots rejected a proposed pay rise.

About 92 percent of 1,900 union members voted, with 93 percent agreeing to work to rule rather than go on strike.

Cathay Pacific has 2,900 pilots but typically rosters off-duty staff during peak periods such as Christmas and New Year.

A spokesman said the company is disappointed by the pilots’ decision but added it will try to keep communication lines open.

More discussions are expected this month, the spokesman was quoted as saying.

In September, the airline offered Hong Kong-based crew pay increases of 4 per cent this year, 3 per cent next year and 3 per cent in 2016, according to reports.

Europe-based pilots were offered one percentage point lower and those in New Zealand 1 per cent each year.

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TL/AC/RA

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