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Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Feel “Betrayed and Deeply Saddened” by Airline’s Decision to Sack Increasing Numbers of Crew

Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Feel “Betrayed and Deeply Saddened” by Airline’s Decision to Sack Increasing Numbers of Crew

Photo Credit: Cathay Pacific

The main flight attendants union at Cathay Pacific says it feels both “betrayed” and “deeply saddened” at reports that increasing numbers of crew at both Cathay Pacific and regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon have been “unreasonably” sacked.

Cathay Pacific did not immediately respond to the allegations levelled by the union but last week it did confirm that two flights attendants at Cathay Dragon had been dismissed following an investigation when an emergency oxygen bottle was found empty.

There have now been at least 18 emergency crew oxygen bottles found onboard Cathay planes in a ‘low-pressure’ state.  There have been accusations that some crew are deliberately emptying the bottles in protest at the airline complying with Beijing’s demands.

The Hong Kong Police Force and civil aviation regulators have been investigating but neither the airline or the authorities have publicly said why they think the bottles have been emptied or why the crew members were fired.

The Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union also says it has become frustrated with the airline’s refusal to say why more and more flight attendants are being sacked.

“The company has forsaken the Disciplinary and Grievances procedure when looking into recent cases,” the union told members in a new memo

“… an investigation process with minimal transparency was put in place… others (Cabin Crew) were handed a termination letter without any accusations.  None of them were given valid grounds for dismissal,” the memo continued.

Some of those who have been sacked in recent weeks have been working for the airline for at least 10-years.

“The company (Cathay Pacific) should stop terminating cabin crew simply based on the activities of their private social media accounts,” the union said in response to allegations that crew members are being asked to account for posts on social media.

We already know some crew – including the leader of the Cathay Dragon flight attendants union – have been dismissed for private social media comments.  It’s believed these comments relate to months- long protests that have gripped Hong Kong.

Supporters of Rebecca Sy, the sacked union leader, say she did not incite violence or any illegal behaviour and was simply expressing her freedom of speech.

“Crew morale has inevitably hit rock bottom,” the union warns as it signs off its memo.

In the last couple of weeks, there were reports that as many as 200 flight attendants had been sacked.  That figure appears to have been rather far fetched and the airline flatly denied the allegation. Nonetheless, it’s clear that more and more flight attendants are being sacked and the circumstances surrounding some of these dismissals is troubling to say the least.

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