Tue, Jul 09, 2019 - Page 1 News List

EVA refuses to withdraw union lawsuit

NOT GIVING IN:The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union said that its strike was legal and that the law guarantees legal strikes immunity from civil and criminal liability

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union secretary-general Cheng Ya-ling, left, speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) yesterday said that it has no plans to withdraw a lawsuit against the Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union — despite the two sides signing an agreement to end a strike at midnight today — as it is seeking to protect its shareholders’ interests.

The airline filed the lawsuit at the Taipei District Court on June 21, saying the union had contravened the Act for Settlement of Labor-Management Disputes (勞資爭議處理法).

The union said that one of the reasons it launched the strike was the airline’s rejection of its request to employ a labor director, but such a request is not permitted under the act, EVA said as it filed the suit, adding that it would seek compensation of NT$34 million (US$1.09 million) for every day that the strike lasted.

At talks on Saturday, the union asked the airline to drop the lawsuit, but EVA declined.

“We are seeking compensation for lost revenue,” EVA spokesman David Chen (陳耀銘) told the Taipei Times by telephone yesterday.

The airline said it had canceled 707 round-trip flights from June 20 to yesterday, with losses estimated at NT$3.12 billion.

The airline had agreed that it would not take action against those who joined the industrial action legally, which was part of their written agreement, but it did not agree to give up the lawsuit, Chen said.

As the strike lasted 17 days, the company would claim NT$578 million in total, he said.

The company also wants to know how the court would reach a ruling on this case, given that there is no precedent in Taiwan, he said.

The union yesterday said in a statement that it would not give up fighting the lawsuit.

It would continue to improve its organization and consult attorneys to respond to the challenge, the union said.

The strike was “completely legal,” the union said, adding that the law guarantees legal strikes immunity from civil or criminal liability.

It signed a collective agreement with EVA on Saturday with Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) as witnesses, and the two parties are to work toward a new, stable employer-employee relationship, the union said.

In the face of the company’s continued refusal to let go of disagreements, the union would not give in, it added.

Meanwhile, EVA is to transfer a flight attendant surnamed Kuo (郭) to another section over security concerns, saying it asked police to investigate whether Kuo had used the Line messaging app to threaten a pilot.

EVA said that Kuo is the same flight attendant who in January reported being asked by a male passenger to remove his underpants and wipe his behind after using the bathroom on a flight from Los Angeles to Taipei.

Additional reporting by Hsiao Yu-hsin

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