27th October 2020 – (Hong Kong) After Cathay Pacific’s large-scale layoffs, remaining employees have to sign new contracts which contain drastically cut salaries (up to 58%) and benefits. Pilots are required to sign the new contract by tomorrow (28th).
On behalf of Cathay Pacific’s 2,200 pilots, Chris Beebe, Secretary-General of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association, met with senior representatives of the Labour Department at 3.30pm today (27th) to seek assistance from the Department. Chris Beebe said after the meeting that he believed that the Labour Department understood the current situation of the trade union and stated that it would coordinate discussions between the two parties. He said that the main hope for the meeting today is to get assistance in response to the “unfair treatment” of the pilots during Cathay Pacific layoffs.
He continued that the period allowed for pilots to consider contracts is too short. He also said that he didn’t know how many pilots had signed the new contract, and he criticised Cathay Pacific for sharing very little information and communication with the union. He believes that there are still many issues to be resolved at this stage, including the retirement of pilots and the number of flight hours are very important. He hopes Cathay Pacific can provide more time and information for pilots to consider. Regarding the union’s earlier statement that it would consider legal actions, including applying for court injunctions, he said that this time the matter should not be resolved by law, but the union will continue to study all feasible methods and has not yet made a final decision. He also said that if the final decision is to take legal action, it will be regrettable.