The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday announced it is investigating whether EVA Airways flight attendants who went on strike contravened civil aviation regulations by abandoning their duties.
The 17-day strike organized by the Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union is officially to end at midnight tonight.
The airline said 27 flight attendants who abandoned their duties to go on strike had clearly contravened the regulations, as they had reported for work on June 20 before the strike began at 4pm.
The attendants have said that they were taking part in a legal strike and therefore were not obligated to offer any service once the strike had commenced.
“We have asked EVA to submit a report on how it defined the beginning of the strike and describe the procedures that it took from the time that these flight attendants reported for duty until they left,” CAA Flight Standards Division Director Clark Lin (林俊良) said.
CAA has no plans to interview flight attendants who went on strike after they were on duty and it has not given EVA a deadline to turn in its report, Lin said.
The Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法) and Aircraft Flight Operation Regulations (航空器飛航作業管理規則) have rules regulating the behaviors of flight attendants, Lin said.
Article No. 188 of the regulations states that during passenger embarkation and disembarkation, an operator shall ensure that the required number of cabin crew members remain in the cabin compartments to deal with safety-related issues. Under the Civil Aviation Act, contravening the regulations is subject to fines ranging from NT$600,000 to NT$3 million (US$19,233 to US$96,116).
Local media reported that 12 flights attendants scheduled to work on BR-722 to Shanghai Pudong Airport on June 20 refused to enter the airplane cabin at 3:52pm, when they were scheduled to conduct pre-boarding inspection, while six flight attendants scheduled to work on BR-871 to Hong Kong checked themselves out of the immigration area at 4:17pm.
In other developments, the Consumers’ Foundation said EVA Airways should compensate travelers affected by the strike according to the EU’s regulations.
Foundation officials are to meet with representatives of the airline and travel agencies within two weeks to discuss a possible compensation package.
EVA previously said that passengers stranded abroad due to the strike would be compensated up to US$250 per person per day, but many passengers have said that was too little, the foundation said.
The foundation has received 180 telephone calls complaining about insufficient compensation, with the one person saying their return home to Taiwan was delayed by 48 hours, it said.
Passengers boarding flights departing from European airports should be compensated based on Flight Compensation Regulation EU261-2004, which states that travelers whose flight distances exceeds 3,501km and whose flights were delayed by more than three hours can receive up to 600 euros (US$673), the foundation said.
Travelers affected by a strike by China Airlines’ pilots in February could seek compensations based on the EU regulation as well, as the statute of limitation is two years, it added.
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