HONG KONG: Cathay Pacific Airways, caught in the headwaters of Beijing authorities and protesters in Hong Kong, must end "all forms of white terror," unions in the Chinese-controlled city said Friday (Aug. 23). .
The carrier has become the biggest corporate accident in the protests after China demanded that it stop workers involved in, or support, the demonstrations that have thrown the former British colony into a political crisis.
READ: Our coverage of the protests in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) called a news conference following the sudden dismissal of Rebecca Sy, the head of Cathay Dragon & # 39; s Airlines Flight Attendants & # 39; Association after a 17-year career.
Sy said she was fired, without explanation, after managers saw and verified her Facebook account. HKCTU said 14 people have been shot so far over the protests, calling Sy's resignation an "overt repression."
"All the staff are frightened, not just cabin crew, but even the management," Sy said. "My colleagues are all terrified of the white terror."
White terror is a common term to describe anonymous acts that create a climate of fear.
READ: The crew describes the climate in fear of Cathay after Hong Kong's departure
Cathay Pacific did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shares in the airline fell more than 1 per cent, hanging with a gain of 0.6 per cent in the Hang Seng index.
Sew resignation, as Cathay confirmed on Friday, follows last week's shock resignation of Chief Executive Rupert Hogg, the highest-profile corporate casualty of the turmoil.
Cathay pilots and cabin crew have described a campaign of political layoffs, dismissals and phone calls from Chinese aviation officials.
The last few weeks have been extremely challenging for employees, the Hong Kong carrier, which is 30 percent owned by Air China, said ahead of Friday's news conference.
"We thank all of our dedicated staff who are dedicated to serving our customers in a professional manner," said James Tong, director of corporate affairs.
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Demonstrations, which have occasionally shut down the airport and businesses in the Asian economic hub, still have broad support, despite some fierce clashes between police and protesters.
HKCTU said that "white terror" was threatened for the entire aviation industry and demanded that Sy be reinstated immediately.
Taking a tight line between the protests and the Beijing political masters, many Hong Kong firms choose to tip the Communist Party line to avoid potential repercussions following the experience of Cathay Pacific Airways.