China Airlines and the Taoyuan Union of Pilots yesterday agreed to attend a Ministry of Transportation and Communications-hosted negotiation session today.
The striking pilots are demanding that additional pilots be present on longer flights; that training programs and promotion channels for copilots be made transparent; that pressuring or penalizing union members for union activities be prohibited; that managers who hurt employer-employee relations be dismissed; and that employees be guaranteed full year-end bonus packages.
The meeting was originally scheduled for 4pm yesterday, but was postponed to 3pm today, Deputy Minister Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
China Airlines has indicated that it would be represented at the talks by company president Hsieh Shih-chien (謝世謙), Wang said.
The airline is willing to offer compromises on the pilots’ demands, he said.
However, union chairwoman Lee Hsin-yen (李信燕) said she hoped that the company could elaborate on its changes to the demands before meeting.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
About 200 pilot certificates were collected yesterday afternoon and the strike would continue, Lee said, adding that the union would decide whether to end the strike after the negotiations.
At a news conference at noon, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that the dispute between the company and its employees must not come at the cost of travelers’ safety and rights.
The strike could come at “a heavy price” that the public might need to bear, Lin said.
After learning of the planned strike at 1am yesterday, he had instructed the ministry, the Taoyuan Department of Labor, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), the airline and the Tourism Bureau to establish an interagency emergency response center, he added.
The CAA has instructed China Airlines to notify affected passengers and help them arrange flights with other airlines, Lin said, adding that the company should look into viable ways of compensating stranded travelers.
Travel agencies were alerted on Thursday night so that they could help arrange alternative flight options, as well as accommodation, he said.
Travel agencies should avoid sending China Airlines passengers to airports before confirming their flight plans, he added.
The union’s right to stage strikes would be respected, but its abrupt decision to do so during the Lunar New Year holiday has not only inconvenienced travelers, but also obscured the union’s message, Lin said.
Lin called on the union to attend the ministry-led negotiations and on China Airlines to prioritize passenger rights and negotiate with the union in good faith.
The airline should seek to end the strike as soon as possible to salvage its image, while exploring potential reforms and learning from the incident, Lin said.
Responding to criticism that the ministry failed to handle the airline, Wang said that it only owns 35 percent of China Airlines and while it can make suggestions, it cannot direct company policy.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of