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CAL, pilots promise to conduct negotiations in good faith

2018/08/17 21:54:11

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) China Airlines (CAL) and its pilots committed on Friday during their second round of meetings under government mediation to refrain from making provocative moves that may hinder negotiations, according to the Taoyuan City's Department of Labor.

Tensions had escalated after CAL filed a provisional injunction earlier this month that sought a judgment on the legality of the union's attempt to call a strike.

CAL argued that the union's action is illegal because an occupational union comprising members from different companies cannot vote to take action against any single company.

The court had rejected CAL's appeal. Its pilots called for the carrier the previous day to demonstrate good will by pledging not to seek any further injunctions.

The union also urged CAL to stop "harassing" its members, adding that the carrier had asked individual pilots to promise not to go on strike by offering them a one-off payment of NT$20,000 (US$650).

The union threatened to go ahead with strike arrangements if the management continues to be "underhanded" during follow-up discussions.

Besides showing good faith, both sides have made more progress after their first meeting last week, the Taoyuan labor department said, without giving specifics. It added that a third round of negotiations will take place on Aug. 22.

EVA Air and its pilots, who were in a second round of negotiations the previous day, are also scheduled to hold a third round of talks on Aug. 22.

However, the pilots' union told CNA that the progress made during the two rounds of negotiations for both CAL and EVA Air was too small, and it could not wait forever for the airlines to come up with a better deal.

Union officials said they will lean on the possibility of a walkout if the negotiations next week produce a similar level of progress.

CAL and EVA Air pilots have raised 28 and 16 issues, respectively, to demand for better pay, more rest hours, greater pilot autonomy, and a shorter period that pilots have to commit themselves to the airline in the first employment contract that they sign with their employer.

But so far, the union said, they have only been able to touch on one to two issues with both companies.

CAL and EVA Air pilots in the Pilots Union Taoyuan voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike last week. Around 99 percent of CAL pilots and 97 percent of EVA Air pilots who cast ballots voted to strike in the wake of unsuccessful negotiations with management, according to union tallies.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)