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Cathay warns against planned union protests at operations hub

Cathay Pacific has warned its employees against taking part in a planned protest at its main headquarters on 26 August.

This was because an injunction order obtained by the Airport Authority Hong Kong to restrict protests at Hong Kong International Airport also covered the nearby Cathay City, which is the airlines main operations hub.

The Airport Authority Hong Kong was on 23 August granted an extension of an interim injunction meant to restrict protests. The injunction restrains protesters from "unlawfully and wilfully obstructing or interfering with the proper use" of the airport. The operator states that blocking roads connecting to the airport might constitute as such an act.

Stressing that Cathay City includes “facilities that are absolutely critical for our flight operations”, the Oneworld carrier adds in its latest statement: “Any activities that impact our ability to operate safely not only significantly disrupt the travelling public, but also jeopardise the safety of our customers and our employees, while also damaging Hong Kong’s economy and the reputation of Hong Kong International Airport.”

Hong Kong’s Confederation of Trade Unions had organised the planned protest, which came after the airline sacked the head of one of its flight attendant unions. It was previously reported that Rebecca Sy was given the chop over her social media posts, including one which expressed outrage over the resignation of ex-Cathay chief Rupert Hogg and former customer and commercial chief Paul Lo.

Cathay states in its latest statement that it was aware of the planned protest but adds that it took a “zero-tolerance approach to any support for or participation in illegal protests, violent activities or overly radical behaviour.”

Hong Kong has, for nearly three months, been hit by protests over the government's decision to introduce an unpopular extradition bill. It was later shelved, but protesters have demanded the full withdrawal of the bill and an investigation into the handling of the political crisis.

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