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Cathay Pacific Calls for Union to Return to Wage Negotiation

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. posted an open letter in Hong Kong’s major newspapers today, calling on union members to put public interests first and return to the negotiation table.

The flight attendants’ union, which represents more than 5,800 cabin crew, hasn’t responded to Cathay’s request for talks, according to a letter published on Oriental Daily News.

Members of the union on Dec. 10 authorized its leaders to initiate industrial action after a disagreement over a proposed pay rise for next year. Flight attendants may work-to-rule or refuse to do tasks such as serving food in the days leading to Christmas, Dora Lai, the union’s chairwoman said.

The labor group had asked for a 5 percent pay rise, while Cathay only agreed to an increase of about 2 percent. Cathay said in its the open letter that employees have seen salaries increase by about 12 percent in the past three years, with an extra month of bonus annually.

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