The trade union that represents flight attendants at Cathay Pacific’s regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon has confirmed that its leader has been sacked by the airline. The union has demanded her immediate reinstatement and claims the dismissal was a product of so-called ‘white terror’.
Rebecca Sy has worked for the airline for the last 17-years and had hoped to remain with the company for the rest of her career. It’s believed she was sacked after officials saw her Facebook account.
’White terror’ is the term coined by Hong Kongers for the suppression of anti-government protests through political means. In recent days, Cathay Pacific staff and their colleagues at Cathay Dragon have been warned they could face sanctions for publicly supporting the protest movement.
“It is with great regret that we have to announce the dismissal of Rebecca Sy, our chairwoman, two days ago,” the union explained in a statement posted to its Facebook page.
“Her employment was terminated with no reasons specified. FAA is deeply saddened and angered by this decision and the way it was handled,” the statement continued.
Describing her as an “exemplary” member of cabin crew, the union said Su had “served both customers and colleagues with great enthusiasm.”
“The FAA feels that the dismissal was completely unfair, a product of white terror and that we demand an immediate reinstatement of Rebecca Sy’s employment so she can continue serving the company and the rest of us cabin crew as she has always been.”
New protests at Hong Kong International Airport are expected on Saturday – motivated in part because of Beijing’s alleged suppression of Cathay Pacific.
The union that represents mainline cabin crew recently warned that Chinese authorities were conducting bag searches and examining mobile phones of flight attendants at several airports on the mainland.
Cathay Pacific has been forced to comply with tough new requirements imposed by Beijing. In a statement, the airline yet again reaffirmed its full support for the Basic Law.
“We are a leading international airline with global operations and therefore we are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we operate,” the airline said in response to news of Sy’s dismissal.
Cathay Pacific’s chief executive and chief operations officer were forced to step down last week and several employees, including two pilots, have already been sacked for supporting the protests.