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2nd round of pilot-airline negotiations to take place

2018/08/16 13:57:02

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) A second round of negotiations between EVA Airways, China Airlines (CAL) and their respective pilots will take place Thursday and Friday after the authorities intervened in their disputes that may lead to a strike.

While union representatives of EVA Air pilots did not reach any common ground with the carrier during their first meeting mediated by Taoyuan City's Department of Labor last week, the two sides were scheduled to hold a second meeting Thursday.

For CAL's part, the labor-management negotiation last week was relatively smoother, with both parties able to touch on how flight data should be collected and used to evaluate pilots' performance fairly.

However, Pilots Union Taoyuan Executive Director and CAL pilot Chen Hsiang-lin (陳祥麟) told CNA that no agreement was reached on that particular topic, and that there was no discussion of the pilot welfare issues raised by the pilots.

CAL pilots will negotiate with the airline again on Friday.

Pilots from the two airlines have threatened to strike to demand increased rest time and bonuses, as well as greater autonomy in flight operations.

For instance, pilots with both CAL and EVA Air are demanding that airlines beef up crews on transoceanic flights or give them more time to rest before and after such flights.

CAL pilots have asked their employer to assign four pilots and co-pilots instead of the usual three on all flights scheduled to take more than 12 hours.

EVA Air pilots have made a similar request, asking for four crew members for flights to the East Coast of North America in the winter, when flights can be as long as 16 hours.

CAL and EVA Air pilots in the Pilots Union Taoyuan voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike Aug. 7, and the union said it will announce a strike date Aug. 20 if the country's two major airlines do not offer their pilots better working conditions.

Around 99 percent of CAL pilots and 97 percent of EVA Air pilots who cast ballots voted to strike in the wake of the unsuccessful negotiations with management, according to union tallies.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)