Thursday, 22 August 2019

Cathay Pacific warns staff they will be sacked if they support pro-democracy in Hong Kong

One of Asia's leading airlines the Hong Based Cathay Pacific has issued its staff with another warning, just a few days after it forced former CEO Mr Hogg out the door, that they will be dismissed if they display any pro-democracy sentiments - either in or out of work.

The airline is cracking down hard on employees following increased pressure of the Chinese authorities as the pro-democracy, anti-government protests in the vibrant and colourful city.  The airline told staff their social media content will be heavily scrutinised, anything remotely supporting the protests in Hong Kong would be against a Draconianly strict new policy.

Cathay advised they were simply fulfilling conditions imposed by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on August 9th, which included a ban on aircrew who joined or supported the protests from operating flights to mainland China, or using Chinese airspace.  Cathay now has a “zero-tolerance approach” to those taking part in the protests and any employee who did so could be fired.

“Employees should reflect on and examine their own behaviour in relation to these points, exercise sound judgement and avoid putting themselves in a position where they could reasonably be questioned for being in breach of these conditions of the notice,” the company informed staff.

Many staff have now expressed that a climate of fear now exists at the once-powerful and democratic airline, "You can't say anything, even a private conversation in the crew room before or after a flight can be reported back and you face dismissal."  a senior cabin crew member told local media on condition of anonymity.  "Even displaying a certain flag on twitter will get you fired"  another said.

Cathay has also confirmed that in-depth personal information of all crew who fly over or into mainland China is passed to the Chinese authorities. However, the airline is also passing on similar details of its passengers to the Chinese government,  including those on flights flying into China and over Chinese territory.  

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