Sat, Jun 25, 2016 - Page 1 News List

AIRLINE STRIKE: CAL, union reach deal to end action

CONCESSIONS:The CAL chairman told flight attendants that there would be no settling of scores and the company would review conditions

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Passengers throng the China Airlines counter at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday as the airline’s flights were canceled due to a strike by flight attendants.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

A preliminary agreement between China Airlines (CAL, 中華航空) and the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union was reached last night to end the union’s strike, with the firm agreeing to demands for new holiday and working hour guarantees, along with extra pay for overseas stationing.

Following five hours of negotiations between the two sides at the Ministry of Labor, Deputy Minister of Labor Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文) announced that they had reached a preliminary consensus, including increasing extra pay for overseas stationing from US$3 to US$5 per hour, with agreement terms stipulating that only union members would receive the increase.

The firm also agreed to drop requirements that flight attendants sign agreements to allow increases in overtime hours, while also agreeing to new holiday guarantees and increased holiday pay.

Negotiations over agreement wording was still being finalized at press time last night, with any agreement subject to a vote by union members.

There was no word on whether CAL flights would resume today.

The settlement followed an announcement by new CAL chairman Ho Nuan-hsuan (何煖軒) in a speech protesting flight attendants’ actions yesterday afternoon that the company would drop a policy to have flight attendants report for work at the Taoyuan airport rather than Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), meeting a union precondition for initiating talks.

CAL’s announcement of the new policy that began on June 1 had served as the impetus for the current strike drive, with union members maintaining that the policy would unfairly increase work hours for flight attendants who had previously reported to Songshan airport.

The strike forced massive flight cancelations yesterday with more than 20,000 passengers affected, according to company estimates.

Ho said there was substantial room for “critical examination” of the firm’s coping strategy for the strike, while promising there would be no “settling of scores” against individual union members after the strike concludes.

Ho added he hoped “to have good communications with the union” and pledged to take into consideration the rights and health of staff.

He also said that “unreasonable conditions would be reviewed” and that he would handle the strike properly, adding that it is “my [his] responsibility.”

Ho was appointed the new CAL chairman on Thursday, replacing Sun Hung-hsiang (孫洪祥), Hsieh Shih-chien (謝世謙), head of TACT Logistics, which is also part of the China Airlines Group, was named CAL president yesterday by Premier Lin Chuan (林全), replacing Chang Yu-hern (張有恆).

Following the union’s strike declaration on Thursday night, hundreds of flight attendants in blue vests and headbands camped out outside of China Airlines headquarters, with union tents occupying several lanes of Nanjing E Road, a major artery road.

Following an overnight vigil on Thursday, the union yesterday began instituting protests, dividing all members into three 12-hour shifts and requiring members to attend regularly or risk expulsion.

Union members turned in their passports, Taiwan Compatriot Permits and company ID cards to union officials throughout the day as part of union measures to prevent strikebreaking, wearing official union IDs around their necks to prove that their passports had been turned in.

The union also said the airline had deliberately canceled more flights than necessary.

This story has been viewed 21061 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top