Flight Attendants Threaten to Withhold Smiles, Booze

Cathay Pacific workers are in pay dispute

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 13, 2012 2:23 PM CST

(Newser) – Flight attendants at Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific Airways are threatening to withhold food, alcohol, and even smiles from passengers during the Christmas holidays over a pay dispute, a union official said today. Cabin staff at the airline, which has a reputation for top-notch service, voted at a union meeting this week in favor of industrial action that could also result in flight delays.

"We may not provide alcoholic drinks to our passengers, or we may not even provide meals to passengers," in which case the union would advise travelers to bring their own food and drinks, said the union's general secretary. And "we cannot smile because of the situation, because of how the company treats us." The union is also considering working to rule, which involves doing no more than the minimum work required in contracts and precisely following safety regulations. Such tactics could delay flights by 20 to 30 minutes.

In this Dec. 10, 2012 photo, members of the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union participate in a rally for industrial action after negotiations with the airline broke down.
In this Dec. 10, 2012 photo, members of the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union participate in a rally for industrial action after negotiations with the airline broke down.   (AP Photo)
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