Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Seek Redesign of Uniform for Being Too Revealing & Opening Them to Sexual Harassment
By Vittorio Hernandez | May 7, 2014 9:02 AM EST
Unlike Australian Tax Office employees whose too sexy or casual attire good only for the beach has been noticed by no less than their boss, in air carrier Cathay Pacific, it is the other way around.
Flights attendants and ground crew of Cathay Pacific Airways present their new uniforms during a news conference in Hong Kong earlier this summer.
Flight attendants are requesting management for a redesign of their uniform which they found too tight and revealing, opening them to sexual harassment from air passengers, The South China Morning Post reported.
The union that represents the cabin crew complained that the stewardesses' skirts are too figure-hugging and tight, while blouses are short which exposes the midsection of flight attendants when they bend.
As a result, their white blouse and skirt and jacket ensemble caused an increase in sexual harassment which usually occurs 1 out of every 10 flights. Those who harass them are often members of Cathay's Marco Polo Club frequent flier scheme, the union claimed.
The uniforms, designed by Eddie Lau and issued to the flight attendants three years ago, have two slits at the back of the short skirt. Stewardesses are also issued black stockings and black high heels, which add to the sexy overall look.
The uniform is supposed to last for a decade, but the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union charged their employer of intentionally designing their blouses too short so it would make them appear sexier and permit passengers to see more flesh, said Michelle Choi, honorary secretary of the union.
Choi said, "Some of the Marco Polo Club members think they can do things to us because they are privileged and we somehow allow it. That is very bad ... They think it is part of their privilege ... Afterwards, they believe they can apologise and everything is settled."
Besides the sexual harassment, to worsen matters for the stewardesses, their supervisors often coerce them into not reporting sexual harassment incidents to the police because it could delay the plane's departure. They instead suggest that the flight attendants develop a stronger mindset.
Cathay has 6,000 flight attendants. When it introduced the new uniform in 2011, the air carrier said workers and members of the Marco Polo Club were consulted and modifications made during a trial period that ran for six weeks.
It described the cabin uniform then as "stylish, elegant and unique" that are "symbolic of a modern Asian airlines respected worldwide for quality, style and gracious service."
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