Flight attendants union apologizes for fears over flight safety

07/10/2019 04:47 PM
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Taipei, July 10 (CNA) The Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union (TFAU) apologized Wednesday for comments by an official, who has been grounded by the airline for her criticism of those against the strike.

"We apologize for not carrying out a thorough investigation immediately," said union representative Wang Mei-hsin (王美心).

Wang was referring to the union's handling of remarks by one of its board members Kuo Chih-yen (郭芷嫣), an EVA flight attendant, who said in a Line chat group that she intended to "add extras" to a pilot's meal in retaliation for his opposition to the June 20- July 9 strike held by the union. She did not describe the nature of the "extras."

In addition to her controversial comments, seen as a threat to flight safety, screenshots of the chats circulating online since July 7 also indicate that Kuo planned to bully flight attendants who abandoned the strike.

"Of course I am going to give (the flight attendants) an extreme hard time," she wrote in the chat group. "We were out there sun-scorched for 17 days, and they ended up having a share of what we fought for."

The union did not seem to take the incident seriously initially, telling reporters July 8 that the screenshots could have been fabricated, and that Kuo had assured them that she had no intentions of hurting anyone.

EVA Air, however, decided to investigate the case, transferring Kuo to a ground staff position and reporting her case to the police.

Kuo later made an announcement on the union's Facebook page admitting that she was the one who wrote the messages.

The incident has raised further tension between the airline and the union, as core issues of their final rounds of negotiations revolved around a ban on retaliation -- whether from management or labor.

On July 9, EVA Air fired another of its pilots who had shown support for the striking cabin crew and encouraged them to serve "special meals" to those who were against them. Again, no mention was made of what exactly this meant.

EVA Air said it would not tolerate anything that might put flight safety in question.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)


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