Sat, Apr 20, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Union to decide on EVA strike plans next month

GENERAL VOTE:The union said that it was willing to talk further if EVA offers ‘sincere alternatives,’ while the airline vowed to minimize effects of a strike on travelers

By Cheng Wei-chi, Kao Shih-ching and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Deputy vice president of EVA Air’s cabin crew division Milly Fung, right, accompanied by the division president Chen Miao-li points at a placard showing the company’s proposed solutions to flight attendants’ requests at a news conference in Taipei on Wednesday.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union yesterday announced that it would hold a vote next month to decide when and where it would hold a strike against EVA Air Corp.

The union and the company have since April 2017 held more than 20 rounds of talks, with the union walking away from the table late last year due to a lack of progress, prompting mediation intervention by the Taoyuan City Government.

A breakdown in government-led negotiations on Wednesday marked the third time the parties failed to find a solution on the issues of flight adjustments, hourly rates and labor representation on the company’s board.

The union demanded an increase in the hourly overseas allowance rate from NT$90 to NT$150; a change in the Taoyuan-Tokyo and Taoyuan-Beijing routes to allow for employees to rest overnight; additional rest hours for long flights; and the ability for union members to nominate labor representatives to the board.

The union said that it was willing to enter into negotiations with the company should it offer sincere alternatives, and called on authorities to help spread notice of the planned strike.

“We do not wish to inconvenience the public should the strike be approved by union members,” it said.

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said that the Ministry of Labor and the Taoyuan Department of Labor were overseeing the talks.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications hopes that both parties could find common ground for dialogue on the basis of upholding the rights of workers and travelers, Wang said, adding that his ministry would work with the Ministry of Labor and the department to bring both parties back to the table.

EVA said that it hopes the union would continue to negotiate, as it is willing to adjust its proposals.

If the union goes ahead with the strike, it would be a lose-lose situation for all concerned, it added.

The airline on Wednesday had urged the union to continue talks, but it decided to proceed with the strike, EVA said, adding that it had proposed solutions to the union’s requests, but was unfortunately refused.

It said that it proposed allowing flight attendants to stay overnight in certain months during bad weather conditions and to adopt fixed schedules, which would increase attendants’ leave without a reduction in wages.

Although the airline declined to increase the per diem rate to US$5 per hour to match China Airlines, it proposed distributing a monthly bonus of between NT$1,500 and NT$2,500 to each flight attendant, it said.

If the union launches the strike, EVA would strive to reduce the effects on customers, it added.

Additional reporting by Wei Chin-yun

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