Fri, Jun 28, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union offers compromise

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Independent Taipei City Councilor Chiu Wei-chieh, front center in checked shirt, clenches his fist alongside striking EVA Airways Corp flight attendants yesterday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Photo: Wei Chin-yun, Taipei Times

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union yesterday made significant concessions to EVA Airways Corp, saying that the flight attendants on strike would no longer insist on getting a raise.

The union had originally made eight demands, including that the company increase its per diem, or hourly layover allowance, from NT$90 to NT$150; limit the raise to union members; pay employees double if they work on public holidays; increase flight attendants’ rest time between shifts for one-day round-trip flights to Tokyo, Beijing and seven other destinations; and allow union members to join the airline’s disciplinary committee and be represented on its board.

The union issued a statement yesterday saying it is willing to adjust its demands, including accepting a previous offer from the company to give bonuses to flight attendants instead of an increase in per diem.

The union would also agree to scrap its “free-rider clause” and allow non-union flight attendants to receive the same benefits, it said.

In addition, it would accept the company’s offer to hold monthly employer-staff meetings that routinely review flight attendants’ working conditions and provide information about company recruitment plans, it said.

Meanwhile, the union will ask for longer rest time between shifts for flights to Tokyo, Beijing and back in certain months, it said.

Union representative Lee Ying (李瀅) said she hopes the company would see the adjusted demands and understand that the union is very sincere about resolving their differences.

The union has offered a more detailed version of the adjusted demands to the Ministry of Labor to be delivered to the company, she said outside EVA headquarters in Taoyuan’s Nankan (南崁).

The union is waiting for the company’s response, she said, adding that she hoped the dispute would end soon.

Since the strike began on Thursday last week, more than 2,300 EVA flight attendants have submitted their passports, mainland travel permits and employee IDs to the union, it said.

So far, 45 have asked to retrieve their identification documents in person and 19 have gotten them back, it said.

Union representative Yeh Yi-fan (葉依凡) said some have not yet retrieved their documents because the union needs two days to complete the procedure for returning them.

Members who wish to retrieve the documents need to go with a lawyer to a security company where the documents are stored and sign a form, she said.

As the union’s lawyer had said before, there is no problem with the union’s return procedures, she said.

“The union will never deliberately delay the process of returning the documents or not return them,” she added.

EVA yesterday said it was studying the union’s new appeals and was willing to restart negotiations to resolve the dispute.

At press time yesterday, the time for the next round of negotiation had not been confirmed, EVA spokesman David Chen (陳耀銘) told the Taipei Times by telephone.

However, EVA’s legal actions against the union, including retrieving employee IDs, would not be halted, Chen said, urging the union to return the documents of flight attendants who want to return to work.

As the strike entered its eighth day, EVA has canceled 344 flights and accumulated NT$1.54 billion (US$49.5 million) in revenue losses.

The stock fell 0.33 percent to close at NT$15 in Taipei trading yesterday.

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