Cathay Pacific Airways today welcomed the news that its pilots` union, the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers` Association, has agreed to a conciliation meeting with senior representatives of the company to be held next Monday. The meeting will be under the auspices of the Labour Department. The airline remains hopeful the two sides can soon resume full negotiations and work towards a comprehensive long term settlement on the outstanding issues surrounding roster practises.
The union agreed to meet with representatives of Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Government`s Labour Department next Monday at 2:00pm.
Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Development Tony Tyler said: “It is good news that the union has agreed to resume talks with the help of the Labour Department. We remain fully committed to talks and sincerely hope this issue can be resolved through negotiation. We do not believe industrial action will benefit anyone.”
A short meeting between the company and the union`s leadership was also held this morning at the invitation of Cathay Pacific. During the meeting both parties exchanged views on a number of issues relating to the current dispute.
Cathay Pacific and its pilots` union reached a comprehensive three-year agreement on salary and benefits in 1999. Since then the two sides have held over 50 meetings in an effort to reach agreement on new roster practises. While Cathay Pacific has made a number of generous offers the union has continued to introduce extra demands. The union is currently seeking increases in pay and benefits of up to 32% for some pilots. The airline has offered pay rises of up to 9% but has also made it clear that in an intensely competitive industry it cannot agree to all the union`s demands.
The company has also dismissed allegations that the airline has been mismanaged, pointing to its record of achievements and the fact that it is consistently recognised as one of the world`s best airlines. This has been due to the efforts of all the airline`s staff including pilots, cabin crew, ground staff, and management.