By: Flyhigh Manila Staff
Cathay Pacific is set to retrench 147 flight attendants and two office staff as the airline is set to close its Vancouver base in June. The closure is brought by commercial viability caused by the Coronavirus epidemic and the recent Hong Kong protests. Employees were informed about the closure of the base last Thursday morning, Vancouver time.
Its local union's President David Chan said, "they just told us that they’re going to close the base."
The union named CUPE Local 4088 which represent 147 flight attendants of the airline's Vancouver hub will all be laid-off on June 26. "They are citing commercial viability–with the coronavirus in Hong Kong and the protests earlier. That’s the reason they had," the union President said.
Chan also said, "when we had our contract negotiations they made it very clear they didn’t want to sign a contract beyond two years. They made it very clear they will not be hiring to replace those members who left the company. Our numbers were shrinking day-by-day."
He also shared his worries with regards to chances in other airlines. He said that many of the employees have stayed in the company for decades have risen from the ranks. They are worried about chances of moving airlines or companies especially that many airlines are age sensitive. "I am at an age where it’s difficult to find a job as a flight attendant. Flight attendants are age-sensitive," he said.
Chan also said "they’ll be going to the bottom of the pile. That makes it a bit difficult for the senior crew members. Some people are angry that after all these years of dedicated service we were just let go like that.”