Last month, 51 Virgin Atlantic senior staffs including flight attendants and instructors were laid off due to company restructuring, however, unfairly treated. Each of them has only received an HK$0 – HK$80,000 severance payment, on average HK$13,000 per person, way lower than their salary. It is due to the offsetting mechanism of Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme (a compulsory saving scheme/pension fund for the retirement of residents in Hong Kong which has already made employee lost a lot of money) in Hong Kong.
The offsetting mechanism allows employers to use employees’ contributions made to retirement schemes to offset severance payment. After paying severance payment to their employees, employers can withdraw the same amount from the accrued benefits derived from the employer’s contributions in the employee’s MPF account.
The sit-in starts at 4pm today at the Hong Kong International Airport arrival hall, and will continues at the airline counters at 8pm. The only Virgin flight departs daily at 23:55pm from Hong Kong to London Heathrow.
It is not a strike hence passengers will not be affected, for now.