Cathay warns staff over protests
Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific, which has come under fire from all sides of the pro-democracy protests that have roiled the city over the past 12 weeks, issued a warning to its staff not to participate in protests that could affect the airline or Hong Kong International Airport.
Cathay warns staff ahead of “planned activities” today (26 August) by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions around Cathay City, where the airline is based on Lantau island.
“We have reminded our people that the injunction granted to the Airport Authority of Hong Kong also covers Cathay City, which is the operational hub for our global operations and as such includes facilities that are absolutely critical to our flight operations,” Cathay said. “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.”
Cathay has fired several employees including pilots and flight crew for participating in pro-democracy protests. The airline earlier said it would not tell its employees how they should “believe” when it comes to the demonstrations, but then mainland China stepped in and threatened Cathay’s business and the airline’s then-CEO Rupert Hogg was forced out. Most recently, the airline fired the head of the Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants’ Association over her support for recent anti-China protests. Rebecca Sy, who had worked for Cathay Dragon — a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay — for 17 years, said Friday she was fired without warning or explanation as she was about to travel to China.
“We have also reiterated to our employees that there is a zero-tolerance approach to any support for or participation in illegal protests, violent activities or overly radical behaviour,” Cathay said in its statement. “Cathay Pacific wishes to emphasise that it fully supports the upholding of the Basic Law and all the rights and freedoms afforded by it. We are a leading international airline with global operations and therefore we are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we operate.”