The Taoyuan Union of Pilots yesterday said it has secured the vote to organize a labor strike, adding that it would announce on Aug. 20 when the strike would take place if China Airlines (CAL, 中華航空) and EVA Airways (EVA,長榮航空) continue to refuse to negotiate with it.
The union held a vote from July 16 to Monday, with 1,212 of its 1,426 members participating. A total of 1,187 members voted to go on strike: 731 China Airlines pilots, 454 EVA Airways pilots and 2 from other airlines.
“We hope that this [vote for a strike] would encourage the airlines to improve the work environment for their employees, such as making a definite promise that pilots would not have to risk their lives by flying on typhoon days,” union chairwoman Lee Hsin-yen (李信燕) said. “We are open for negotiations with the airlines before the end of this month.”
Photo: Lee Ya-wen, Taipei Times
The union will resort to a strike if the two carriers continue to ignore and slander the pilots, as well as disregard the safety of passengers, she added.
CAL last week filed an injunction with a district court seeking to ban the union from holding a strike. This shows that the company is playing a two-faced strategy, claiming that it is willing to negotiate with the union while arguing that the union does have not the right to strike, the union said.
The union has the right to hold strikes in accordance with regulations in the Labor Union Act (工會法), it said, adding that the injunction would not affect its plan.
Asked whether the labor strike would disrupt President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) visit to Paraguay next week, as well as people planning to travel during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday next month, Lee said it would depend on whether the airlines are willing to engage in negotiations.
Lee reiterated that members of the public would have sufficient time to react to a strike, but did not specify how many days in advance the public would be given warning.
The union has not decided if CAL and EVA pilots would hold simultaneous strikes or on different days, union board director Chen Hsiang-lin (陳祥麟) said, adding that it would depend on the progress of labor negotiations.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) expressed hope that the dispute would end peacefully.
“We hope that airlines can expedite communication with their employees on the condition of preserving consumers’ interests and aviation safety to ensure a peaceful end to this dispute,” Wu told a news conference.
China Airlines had been told to refrain from using measures such as court injunctions, which only poison its relations with union members, he added.
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said that both airlines, as well as Taoyuan International Airport Corp (桃園國際機場公司), have stipulated contingency plans to cope with the possible impact of a strike during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday from Sept. 22 to Sept. 24.
Negotiations between the airlines and union members in the past few months have helped winnow down the union’s demands to a few unresolved issues, he said, adding that it is the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ hope that it would not have to implement the plans.
CAL said the union has presented 28 requests to the company, adding that both sides have reached a consensus on some of them.
EVA said the union has presented 16 requests for negotiations.
One of the union’s major complaints was that both airlines have overworked their pilots, particularly those operating long-haul flights.
CAL and EVA follow Aircraft Flight Operation Regulations (航空器飛航作業管理規則) in regulating the flight hours of their pilots, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said.
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the