Cathay crew threaten to strike over Christmas

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Flight attendants at Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific could launch a strike over the busy Christmas and New Year period after the airline called a halt to year-end negotiations.

The Flight Attendants Union (FAU) said the airline did not respond to an ultimatum after it called off talks on 30 November. As a result, the union has reactivated a committee that will work out industrial action, which will be launched "in the near future".

The FAU has called an extraordinary general meeting for 10 December where the flight attendants will vote on the industrial actions.

The dispute between the union and the airline has focused largely around a pay increment for the flight attendants, with the union pressing for a 5% increment while the airline ended negotiations at 2%, saying that the offer is "fair, reasonable and competitive offer in view of the extreme challenges the airline is facing".

The FAU says that it is also asking the airline to address other lifestyle issues related to grievance resolution processes and flight patterns.

Cathay says that it is still open to meeting with the union and discuss the lifestyle issues further, provided it removes the threat of industrial action.

It adds that it "always has contingency plans in place to cope with pressure on its resources arising from different types of disruptions".