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Oneworld Cockpit Crew Coalition Condemns Treatment of Cathay Pacific Pilots

LONDON, United Kingdom (Dec. 7, 2021) – The Oneworld Cockpit Crew Coalition (OCCC) expressed deep concern regarding what it termed “untenable working conditions” at Cathay Pacific since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comprised of the 30,000 professional union pilots who fly for the member airlines of the oneworld Alliance, the OCCC has convened for an in-person meeting in London this week.

“The pilots of Cathay Pacific face a hostile management. The result is a toxic industrial climate,” said Captain John Sluys, Oneworld Cockpit Crew Coalition Chair. “During the past 15 months, Cathay Pacific management has unilaterally terminated the pilots’ Recognition and Good Faith Bargaining agreements and imposed a ‘sign or be fired’ concessionary agreement upon them.

“The pilots and their families have also been subjected to highly onerous quarantine conditions,” said Captain Sluys, who is a 737 pilot for Alaska Airlines.

The Hong Kong Air Crew Officers Association (HKAOA), bargaining representative of the Cathay Pacific pilots, has been providing basic necessities and convenience items such as compact refrigerators and microwave ovens to pilots and family members in quarantine at the barracks-like government facilities — ameliorative measures that, until recently, the company had failed to take. The HKAOA membership have also responded in a similar manner to assist pilots from other airlines who have been placed into government quarantine facilities and have been continuously coordinating with the pilots’ representatives and families.

“Cathay Pacific management has subjected its pilots to untenable working conditions, and has refused to provide them adequate time off to see family members outside of Hong Kong,” Captain Sluys said. “This prolonged isolation and inability to be present for major life events has had an undeniably negative impact on the pilots’ emotional health.

“Regrettably, we see little cause for optimism that conditions will improve anytime soon. We therefore encourage other airlines to hire Cathay Pacific pilots as the opportunity arises,” Captain Sluys said.

The Oneworld Cockpit Crew Coalition (@OCCCpilots) includes the pilots of Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and SriLankan Airlines.

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