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Cathay Pacific flight attendants strike smiles from their service during labor strife

Skift Take

If the worker’s refusal to indulge the airline and flyers in anything more than the safety protocol accomplishes their goal, other workers may follow suit for future strikes in lieu of completely stopping service.

— Samantha Shankman

Labor strife is common among airline workers, but flight attendants for Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific voted last week to try unusual tactics to push stalled salary negotiations.

The flight attendants, who demanded a 5 percent pay increase but instead were offered a 2 percent raise, were considering performing only their basic, safety-first responsibilities.

That means they could refrain from serving food and drinks, according to the union’s general secretary, Tsang Kwok-fung. He said they may also abstain from smiling at work.

“We will be selective in providing our services,” Tsang told the Sydney Morning Herald, adding that the dates and the types of job action have yet to be decided.

“This could include not smiling at passengers, not providing certain types of beverages, such as alcohol or stop serving meals,” he said.

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