Tue, Dec 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

MOTC should help workers in CAL dispute: legislators

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) should weigh in on China Airlines’ (CAL) proposed punishment of three employees who participated in a workers’ protest earlier this year, lawmakers said yesterday, urging the ministry to defend the interests of workers.

The airline recently held a personnel evaluation meeting, during which management proposed punishing or firing the three employees who attended a protest organized by transport service workers on June 23 this year.

Management cited the workers’ failure to wear employee IDs while on duty, constant tardiness and failure to report for duty as reasons for the punishment.

However, the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union and the China Airlines Employees Union said that the move was meant to punish the employees for participating in the protest and speaking out against the company.

Several union members protested outside the Ministry of Labor (MOL) yesterday afternoon, calling on the company to stop slandering the three and to rescind its ruling.

New Power Party Legislator Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸) and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chung Kung-chao (鍾孔炤) brought up the labor dispute during a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee.

“The ministry is the largest shareholder of CAL and should not allow members of the workers’ union to be unreasonably treated by management,” Hung said.

The MOL had ruled in October that the airline had engaged in “unfair labor practices” by holding private conversations with these union members and adding to their psychological burden, Hung added.

Despite the ruling, the company continued to question these union members and proposed punishing them, which shows contempt for the MOL and the MOTC, she said.

“The government is amending the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) and has been advocating that labor relations matters be resolved through negotiations between workers’ unions and employers. If this is what happens with a state-affiliated firm, how can anyone expect negotiations between employees and employers in other private companies to go smoothly?” she said.

MOTC Deputy Minister Frank Fan (范植谷) said the personnel evaluation meeting has yet to reach a final decision on the proposed punishment.

“We encourage negotiations between the workers’ union and the company,” Fan said, adding that the ministry would work with the MOL to resolve disputes in CAL if necessary.

During the protest at the MOL, Chu Liang-chun (朱良駿), one of the three employees, said the company continued to take what he said at protest in June out of context and use it against him in its internal letter to employees.

“It did not disclose how the personnel evaluation committee ruled on the case,” Chu said, adding that the company has disrespected the law.

CAL issued a statement saying that the personnel evaluation is part of corporate management and that what it disclosed in the internal letter was based on facts.

“We want to explain the matter to all employees so that they would not be misled. As the personnel evaluation committee has not reached a final decision, we have no further comment,” the statement said.

The MOL confirmed that the airline would be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$300,000 for engaging in unfair labor practices, adding that the company is obligated to publicly disclose its ruling on these employees.

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