A cabin crew union has slammed Cathay Pacific’s unprecedented step to conduct a survey among its staff to see if it should start talks with the unions about the retirement age of flight attendants.
Under the current regulations, attendants have to retire at 55, while pilots can retire at 65. The company is asking its 9,000 flight attendants if they want their retirement age to be lifted to 60.
Cathay says if more than 5,000 voters agree, it will start negotiations with the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation.
But a spokeswoman for the federation, Carol Ng, said the survey is unnecessary as it is a retirement age issue. “Anti-discrimination is the obligation of an employer,” she said.
Ng said the Equal Opportunities Commission had conducted a survey on age-related discrimination and 70 to 80 percent of the public polled agreed that a law against such bias should be enacted quickly.
“I think what Cathay is doing is contradicting [this finding], the government should have more say on this,” Ng said.
The spokeswoman also took a shot at the wording of the survey, saying it was aimed at scaring younger employees about their future promotion chances.
Ng told RTHK’s Hilda Lo that some feedback they received showed that some young employees were having a rethink about voting for an increased retirement age.