Tue, Jun 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Union, EVA might resume negotiations

CONCESSIONS:The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union said it is willing to resume negotiations with the airline and withdraw some of its demands to reach a deal

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai, right, talks to the media following a meeting at the ministry in Taipei on Sunday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

EVA Airways management and flight attendants could potentially resume negotiations, as both sides are willing to make concessions to end a strike, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) made the announcement after an emergency response meeting at the ministry as the strike organized by EVA flight attendants entered its fifth day.

Ministry of Labor officials have been working to resume negotiations between airline management and employees, he said, adding that both sides might have an opportunity to reach an agreement on issues related to the “free-riders clause” and the appointment of a board director to represent workers.

However, Wang did not disclose further details, saying only that labor ministry officials are in charge of the efforts.

Despite the strike, the airline yesterday maintained 40 percent of its daily transport capacity, with 108 of 181 scheduled flights canceled, affecting 23,047 passengers, it said.

In addition to canceling 532 flights from yesterday to Friday, the airline last night announced that it would cancel 85 flights scheduled to leave on Saturday and 84 flights departing on Sunday, due to the strike.

The cancelations would affect a total of about 32,500 passengers, it said.

The airline over the weekend announced the number of flights that would be canceled from yesterday to Friday and helped travelers affected by the cancelations switch to other carriers, Wang said.

Consequently, no passengers are lining up at the airline’s check-in counters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and order at the airport has been generally restored, he said.

Local Chinese-language media have reported that the airline might use the strike as an opportunity to cancel some of its unprofitable routes.

Such a plan appeared likely yesterday as the airline held a shareholders’ meeting, during which management announced a plan to hire 200 flight attendants in accordance with a plan to expand the airline’s fleet.

“It is my understanding that the airline hopes that the flight attendants will end the strike soon and return to work. The airline recruits new flight attendants annually, and I do not think it is doing that to replace all the flight attendants who went on strike,” Wang said.

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union said it is willing to resume negotiations with the airline’s management.

It said it might withdraw its demand that an allowance for flight attendants on international flights be raised to NT$150 per hour.

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