EVA Air, flight attendants still at odds 2 months after end of strike

09/06/2019 05:12 PM
members of the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union
members of the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union

Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The disputes between EVA Airways and its flight attendants, who went on a 20-day strike in June, have still not been resolved, as the two sides remain in conflict over issues related to the strike, they indicated Friday.

At a small rally in front of the Ministry of Labor, members of the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union (TFAU) accused EVA Air of failing to meet the terms agreed to when the strike ended on July 6.

"We urge EVA Air to stop using 19th century thinking to deal with its workers in the 21st century," TFAU President Chao Kang (趙剛) said, adding that the airline has been retaliating against the union and the flight attendants who participated in the 20-day strike.

For instance, Chao said, the carrier has refused to drop a lawsuit against union leaders, including himself, and is seeking damages of NT$34 million (US$1 million) per day for what it claims was an illegal strike mobilized by the union.

Furthermore, he said, EVA Air has not restored the benefits to the flight attendants that went on strike, particularly the discounts on their private airfares.

According to the union, the airline declined to fully restore the discount fares for the affected flight attendants unless they promised greater flexibility on work assignments, which could sometimes amount to overwork.

In response, EVA Air said it had worked out a timetable for the discount fares to be phased back in over the next three years.

On the issue of the lawsuit, EVA Air argued that the union's appeal, prior to the strike, to have a representative on the airline's board of directors was a matter of corporate management, which is limited to EVA Air's shareholders, therefore the strike was illegal.

The union and the airline are schedule to hold another round of talks Sept. 11 on the contentious issues, as their last three rounds of discussions have been unproductive.

On May 8, as the strike loomed, EVA Air threatened to withdraw its discounted fares to its employees and their relatives to mitigate the impact of the flight attendants strike, except for those who did not join the industrial action.

In the final round of negotiations with the union, however, it was agreed that the benefits would be restored progressively, with the details to be hammered out within two months.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)


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