Biting the hands that feed them

By | January 13, 2011

I usually reserve a fair bit of sympathy for unions threatening industrial actions to force employers to come to the negotiation table, but not when they show complete disregard to customers, as in the case of the work-to-rule action to be enforced by the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants’ Union.

Under the work-to-rule guidelines:

“All oversized or overweight handcarried luggage will be offloaded for check-in.”
This is tantamount to passing the buck to the ground staff, who may not be part of the bargain. Is it right to drag everyone else through the mud, just to get what you want?

“After takeoff, in-flight service should be discontinued when the seat belt sign is turned on.”
I would really like to see how this will be enforced, or as the guidelines said, “Everybody must carry out the work-to-rule together and must not try to discourage anyone.” Will all flight attendants turn a blind eye to passengers who are in real need of assistance (or service) when the seat belt sign is on?

If the Flight Attendants’ Union wants to garner more support and generate a stronger perception of unfairness (including grievances based on distributive injustice), it would have to do better than biting the hands that feed them.

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