Cathay pilots win defamation claim

A HONG Kong court has ordered Cathay Pacific to pay US$7 million compensation to 18 pilots it fired in 2001.In 2001 the 18 pilots, and 21 others, were fired by the carrier during a labour dispute over pay and scheduling. The court has now ruled that not only were the pilots unfairly dismissed and wrongfully terminated but that Cathay executives were also guilt of defamation but accusing the pilots of disrupting the airline’s operations.The judge awarded 17 of the 18 plaintiffs HK$150,000 ($19,350) each for unfair dismissal, a month’s pay each for wrongful termination and HK$3.3 million ($425,800) each in defamation damages.Cathay Pacific spokeswoman Carolyn Leung said the airline was “disappointed” with the ruling and is considering whether it will appeal the decision.

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