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Pilot union demand to stop recruiting foreigners raises concern

2019/02/14 10:44:04

CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA) After progress was made in negotiations between a pilot union and China Airlines (CAL) Wednesday, the two sides are expected to enter another round of a dispute over a union demand for a stop in the recruitment of foreign pilots.

The Pilot Union Taoyuan, which organized a strike by CAL pilots last week that remains ongoing, is set to talk with CAL, one of Taiwan's largest carriers, on issues about pilot recruitment and promotion in their planned negotiations Thursday, after reaching consensus on staffing and overwork a day earlier.

The union demands that the carrier halve the ratio of foreign pilots from the current 10 percent to 5 percent within the next three years, stop recruiting new ones, and bar foreign co-pilots from promotion training.

Currently, there are 124 foreign pilots among more than 1,300 pilots working for CAL. The company said not allowing foreign pilots to be hired and not allowing foreign co-pilots to join promotion training could induce the problem of employment discrimination.

Asked about the issue, Deputy Labor Minister Liu Shih-hao (劉士豪) said the current law does not include "nationality" in the category of discrimination offenses in the workplace, but the union's request "could possibly have violated the spirit of the law."

The Employment Service Act stipulates that for the purpose of ensuring equal opportunity in employment, the employer is prohibited from discriminating against any job applicant or employee on the basis of race, class, language, thought, religion, political party, place of origin, place of birth, gender, gender orientation, age, marital status, appearance, facial features, disability, or past membership in any labor union.

(By Wang Shu-fen, Chen Wei-ting, Wu Hsin-yun and Elizabeth Hsu)