Mon, Jun 24, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Ministry suggests authorization period for strikes

MEANS TO AN END:A strike aims to make a firm incur losses until it yields to workers’ demands, which could be achieved in a predetermined period, Wang Kwo-tsai said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai talks to reporters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications yesterday proposed establishing a strike authorization period as an alternative to giving two weeks’ notice of a labor action and expressed the hope that a strike by EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) flight attendants, which began on Thursday, would end by Friday.

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) told reporters about the proposal after the ministry held its fifth emergency response meeting about the strike, presided over by Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).

EVA yesterday maintained only 37 percent of its transport capacity due to the strike, with 113 of 180 scheduled flights canceled, Wang said.

The airline has pledged to maintain 40 percent of its daily transport capacity starting today, he said.

Yesterday’s cancelations affected 25,352 travelers, he said, adding that the airline helped them switch to other carriers, reschedule travel dates or cancel tickets.

The strike also disrupted the travel plans of 47 tour groups comprising 1,019 tourists, he added.

China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) has started using bigger aircraft to transport passengers between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Bangkok, and between Taoyuan and Ho Chih Minh City, Lin wrote on Facebook.

EVA yesterday added one flight between Taoyuan and Bangkok, and one between Taoyuan and Bali, Indonesia.

The ministry had suggested that transport unions give advance notice before launching a strike.

It also proposed that the unions provide a strike authorization period, during which they must specify when a strike would begin and end.

“I think that the purpose of a labor strike is to cause a company to suffer financial losses and force its management into holding negotiations with the workers, through which the workers get what they want,” Wang said.

“The company still incurs financial losses even if the workers specify when the strike would begin and end. However, passengers would be affected less in this way. We will communicate this idea to the Ministry of Labor,” he added.

Such a proposal could apply to international flights, particularly to those that are difficult to replace, Wang said.

EVA has canceled 532 flights scheduled from today to Friday, he said.

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union said the concept of a strike authorization period is similar to giving advance notice of a strike.

However, the former would be a serious intervention in a labor dispute by the government, it said, adding that as such, it opposes the proposal.

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