Thu, May 22, 2008 - Page 11 News List

FAT management talks with labor union break down


Negotiation between Far Eastern Air Transport Corp's (FAT, 遠東航空) management and the labor union broke down yesterday, one day after the Taipei District Court ruled in favor of giving the airline a 90-day extension to seek bankruptcy protection.

FAT filed for bankruptcy protection with the Taipei District Court on Feb. 17 and announced on May 12 that the company would suspend all its operations the following day.

The failed negotiations have led to the resignation of Johnny Chen (陳國良), head of the union, from the company board. FAT chairman Bai Shu-ping (白旭屏) and board member Liang Huai-hsin (梁懷信) have also resigned.

In a statement last night, Bai said rumors and blackmail from shareholders and employees had made him feel as if his efforts to bail out the company were in vain, which led to his decision to resign.

Since Bai was appointed FAT chairman on April 11, the company had been seeking a fresh capital injection from its initial shareholders as well as international companies.

Despite the lack of results so far, four international companies have expressed interest in the company, Bai said.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) expressed regret at the latest developments, CNA reported yesterday.

Although FAT is a good company, the government will not be in a position to get involved unless FAT’s major shareholders express their willingness to help solve the company’s financial difficulties, the report quoted Mao as saying.

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