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This piece of content is part of multiple stories. We recommend you read this content in the context of one of the following stories:

Cathay Pacific whistle-blowing policy urging staff to ‘speak up’ under spotlight as Hong Kong employees fear possible reprisals for support of anti-government protests

Author: Danny Lee & Sum Lok-kei, South China Morning Post, Published on: 29 August 2019

In an internal memo… Cathay Pacific Airways has reminded its staff about its policy to speak up and act as “whistle-blowers” as a climate of fear grows among the airline’s employees about possible reprisals for their activities on social media…

… It was feared the policy could encourage staff to report on colleagues, rather than protecting employees who feel they are being unfairly targeted from repercussions.

…The revised code of conduct added a new section on political activities, which barred staff from using company resources to express political opinions, and which stipulated that should staff seek permission to take part in protests, and should not wear uniform while doing so and should not give the impression the company has endorsed the protest.

It also outlined – as staff were previously warned last week – that taking part in illegal political activities was unacceptable, and could ultimately result in an investigation and dismissal from the firm.

Tom Owen, the airline’s human resources chief, told staff in a memo… “We do not take any of these decisions lightly and for every decision we make, we believe it is in the best interest of the Cathay Pacific Group, taking into account all the relevant factors,”…

The point was a reference in particular to the company submitting names of staff to Chinese authorities for pre-approval before flights entering or overflying China…

… at least 20 aviation professionals, including one engineer, had been sacked or had resigned after Beijing exerted pressure on companies to crack down on the anti-government movement sweeping the city…

A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said the whistle-blowing policy was not a newly added item to its code of conduct… “We are committed to creating an environment in which our colleagues are encouraged and protected to share any potential risk about safety and security”… the company also warned that staff’s social media postings would be heavily scrutinised, adding that those expressing support for illegal anti-government protests in Hong Kong could fall foul of a strict new policy being forced on the airline by mainland China’s aviation authority…

Read the full post here

Related companies: Cathay Pacific