Sat, Nov 07, 2015 - Page 3 News List

MA-XI MEETING: Airline union upset by summit trip

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union has lodged a complaint that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) trip to Singapore today will require his China Airlines (CAL) airplane’s crew to work overtime.

The union, which was established in September, yesterday said that the CAL crew would have to work 20 hours straight, a violation of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).

Citing articles 42 and 37, airlines are allowed to extend the work day of flight crews to 20 hours as long as they are allowed a rotating one-hour rest in-flight, it said.

The articles stipulate that employers can extend flight crew work hours to a full 24 hours after they have had a three-hour rest in a hotel after landing, the union said.

It is ludicrous that such violations are legal under the Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法), because these regulations violate Article 32 of the Labor Standards Act, which state that employers cannot extend employees’ work hours beyond 12 hours per day, the union said.

Ma’s trip to Singapore to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) highlights the absurdity of the regulations and the exploitation of flight crews, the union said.

Overtime is inevitable for transoceanic flights, the union said, adding that it has repeatedly urged the Ministry of Labor to make the Labor Standards Act the guiding regulation for short and regional flights.

While the union said that it hoped its complaint would highlight how the ministry and the Civil Aeronautics Administration disregard the health of flight crews, CAL dismissed its allegations as groundless rumors.

Ma is scheduled to leave for Singapore at 6am and fly home tonight after a dinner with Xi.

Additional reporting by CNA

This story has been updated since it was first published.

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