Sun, Jul 07, 2019 - Page 1 News List

EVA, union reach deal to end strike

‘PEACE AGREEMENT’:An EVA attorney said the carrier did not make any concessions, as bullying is already illegal, and the union has agreed not to go on strike for three years

By Hsieh Wu-hsiung and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, fourth and fifth left, and representatives of EVA Airways and the Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union pose in Taoyuan yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union and EVA Airways (長榮航空) yesterday signed an agreement to end a strike at midnight on Tuesday.

Union president Chao Kang (趙剛) and EVA chairman Steve Lin (林寶水) signed the agreement at the Taoyuan City Government, after Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) mediated talks.

Airline officials and union representatives at 2pm resumed negotiations for the third time as the strike entered its 17th day after starting at 4pm on June 20.

A preliminary understanding of the agreement was that it was roughly based on the terms and conditions proposed by EVA on June 28, which a majority of the union’s members had voted in favor of, except for a few changes in language and an increase to the number of people the union would appoint as directors or supervisors on the firm’s board from 11 to 13.

Other terms in the June 28 version of the agreement include a pledge by the company not to take action against strikers and to cooperate with the union to end the strike; the provision of a bonus of NT$300 to NT$500 per trip; and to allow flight attendants to rest overnight on flights BR198 and BR108, which fly to Tokyo, from October to March, and on flight BR716 to Beijing from April to August, excluding May.

EVA would also host monthly employer-employee meetings; a quarterly board of directors’ or general manager’s meeting; and semi-annual reviews of duty rosters and work arrangements on regular, predetermined dates, it says.

A personnel evaluation committee would include five elected instructors, who would take turns; one coevaluator with the right to speak and vote; and one serving flight attendant to accompany the person being evaluated, it states.

The union’s board appointees would be entitled to 25 annual paid leave days for their participation and would have the company’s cooperation in arranging their schedules, the agreement says.

Meanwhile, the union described as a breakthrough EVA dropping Articles 1, 2 and 5 from its list of demands in the so-called “peace agreement.”

Article 1 said that union members should not “bully, discriminate or criticize” company employees, and refrain from making comments or taking actions that are “illegal or otherwise inappropriate.”

Article 2 would have banned the union from spreading “untrue comments” or “speaking against” the company, executives or shareholders or risk a NT$500,000 fine, with each union member’s remarks counted separately toward calculating the fine.

Article 5 would have required the union to give a 30-day notice prior to beginning a strike during the agreement’s stipulated effective period, or “shoulder all costs, including criminal consequences.”

The union also agreed not to call a strike in the next three years as long as EVA takes no action against its members for having taken part in the latest strike and to return within the next three days passports, Mainland Travel Permits for Taiwan Residents and EVA employee identification cards to striking members.

EVA later issued a statement apologizing to the public for the inconvenience and social disturbance the strike had caused.

As the union’s commitment not to go on strike for the next three years eliminated the need for advance notice of a strike and workplace bullying is already illegal, the company does not see the agreement as a concession, EVA attorney Chen Yi-hsuan (沈以軒) said.

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