As a strike by China Airlines (CAL) pilots continued for a second day yesterday, several labor unions spoke out in support of them.
The strike, led by the Taoyuan Union of Pilots, has caused more than 20 flights to be canceled and a number of flights to be delayed.
The union said the pilots went on strike because, as of Thursday afternoon, China Airlines had failed to agree to the union’s five demands, including improving “fatigue flights” by adding a fourth pilot on flights longer than 12 hours.
Photo by Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
In a letter to the public, the pilots said: “We are very sorry, but we have been forced to go on strike as a last-ditch effort... Please support us so that we can be alert and focused as we ensure the complete safety of each passenger on every flight.”
“We are not machines. We are only flesh and blood, and we feel tired after long hours of work,” the pilots said, also citing concern over the risks of piloting when too tired.
Eleven unions, including the Taiwan Railway Union, Taiwan Postal Workers’ Union, Taiwan Radical Nurses’ Union and Dispatched Workers Union, issued a joint statement on Friday in support of the strike.
The pilots’ union, like many labor unions, has been smeared while fighting for workers’ rights, but it had followed procedures by holding a vote before the strike, the statement said.
The strike showed that unions have the right to stand up for workers, it added.
The pilots’ demand for additional pilots to counter the fatigue of longer flights would improve working conditions and ensure passenger safety, but China Airlines refused to increase its labor costs, the unions said, adding that the airline had not learned from the deadly derailment of a Puyuma Express train last year.
The Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union also issued a statement, saying that under the leadership of chairman Ho Nuan-hsuan (何煖軒), the airline had forced the pilots to plan two strikes within six months.
Since Ho had become CAL chairman, the airline contravened the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (職業安全衛生法) as many as 33 times in 30 months, the union said.
The union demanded that Ho be removed, saying that he had soured employer-employee relations at the company.
The Taiwan Higher Education Union, Taipei Doctors Union, Sales Worker Union and Taiwan Media Workers Union also issued statements in solidarity with the striking pilots.
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office on Monday indicted a Chinese sea captain over his alleged involvement in the killing of four pirates at sea in 2012, while serving as the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The suspect, identified by the media as 43-year-old Wang Fengyu (汪峰裕), was charged with homicide and breaches of the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), the indictment read. Wang asked two Pakistani mercenaries that he hired as acting captain of the Kaohsiung-registered Ping Shin No. 101 to fire on and kill four suspected Somalian pirates in the Indian Ocean off the Somalian coast on Sept. 29,
UPGRADE: The system is more efficient than others, which typically involve longer procedures that can produce pseudo-positive or pseudo-negative results The National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center yesterday unveiled an infrared wax physisorption kinetics imaging system, which it said efficiently detects 10 types of cancer. Through scanning tissue section samples, the imaging system can detect colon, breast, stomach, oral, ovarian, cervical, prostate and skin cancer, as well as neuroendocrine tumors and glioblastoma, center associate research fellow Lee Yao-chang (李耀昌) told a news conference in Taipei. The system uses paraffin and beeswax with organic solutions as developers for its infrared imaging device, which can mark abnormal polysaccharides on the surface of cancer cells in six to 15 minutes, while the wax is absorbed by
China is trying to convince Taiwanese that an authoritarian system is preferable to democracy, the Information Operations Research Group (IORG) said at a conference yesterday. China has been employing Taiwanese sympathetic to its “united front” tactics to help spread disinformation about democracy and Taiwanese society through social media, television programs, YouTube and by other means, the group said at the conference to promote public awareness of China’s cognitive warfare campaign. In the group’s latest report, it highlighted eight disinformation discussions that its researchers listed under three main topics: flu viruses in the US are deadlier than COVID-19; US troop movements caused the