Food court employees at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport’s Terminal 2, out of which EVA Airways operates, yesterday wore buttons on their uniforms in support of the airline and its ground staff as the strike launched by the company’s flight attendants continued.
The green-and-orange buttons, which the food court employees printed themselves, read: “Support EVA, anti-strike.”
The strike, which entered its 11th day yesterday, has shown the hard work performed by EVA Airways’ ground staff, a food court employee surnamed Lai (賴) said.
They and their coworkers decided to voice their support because the strike has resulted in fewer travelers, they said, adding that they hope the strike will end soon so that business at the airport can return to normal.
The workers joined the anti-strike campaign voluntarily, they added.
Other food court employees said that they appreciate efforts by the ground staff to “set personal emotions and holidays aside” as they respond to complaints from travelers.
Although duty-free chain Ever Rich has not commented, sales at the company’s airport shops have reportedly fallen 30 percent, despite summer being a peak travel season, as fewer flights mean fewer customers.
Airport businesses face estimated losses of about NT$400 million (US$12.87 million) over the 11-day period, while EVA Airways faces losses of about NT$1.8 billion, although the effect of the strike on tourism and the travel industry is difficult to calculate at this point.
These estimates are losses “on paper,” a food and beverage operator at the airport said.
What is truly “heartbreaking” is the effect of the strike on the development of Taiwan’s tourism industry, it said, adding that the damage it has done to the reputation of Taiwanese hospitality is regretful.
“Who won?” an airport staff member asked with regard to the strike, before adding that “everyone lost.”
“What was lost was the future development of the industry in Taiwan, and harmonious relations between workers and employers,” the staff member said. “The government and public’s trust was lost. The future of Taiwan was lost.”
“In this fight, Taiwan really lost,” they added.
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