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Ground crew union promises no LNY strike after settling labor dispute

01/04/2023 09:46 PM
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Union members of Taoyuan International Airport Services stage a protest outside the company in Taoyuan on Wednesday. CNA photo Jan. 4, 2023
Union members of Taoyuan International Airport Services stage a protest outside the company in Taoyuan on Wednesday. CNA photo Jan. 4, 2023

Taipei, Jan. 4 (CNA) Union members of Taoyuan International Airport Services (TIAS), the largest ground handling provider at Taiwan's main gateway, promised Wednesday that it will not strike during the Lunar New Year holiday after settling a labor dispute with the company.

TIAS union representatives told reporters after a one-hour negotiating session with the company's management that all of its demands, including a salary raise and reforms of its pay raise policy, were met.

As a result, the union said, it will also cancel a protest in front of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications that had been scheduled for Jan. 6.

TIAS, a subsidiary of the China Airlines Group, is the main ground handling provider for China Airlines and several other international carriers, including Japan Airlines, Thai Airways, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and FedEx.

It said after the meeting that the two sides had reached a consensus on the union's proposals, adding that issues related to pay raise reforms will be presented to the board of directors for phased implementation.

The TIAS union demanded late last month that their bonuses be increased, including raising the night shift allowance from NT$50 (US$1.6) per hour to NT$75 per hour, and that they be given a 4 percent pay raise.

Union members also demanded revisions to the company's pay raise policy, which blocks raises after employees reach a certain pay grade. The company agreed that those employees could receive another raise if they worked for TIAS for an additional 10 years.

The settlement comes just days after the company's main competitor, EVA Air subsidiary Evergreen Airline Services Corp. (EGAS), took days off on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 to protest their year-end bonus.

The EGAS employees, who are not unionized, were unhappy that they were promised a year-end bonus of only one month in salary, when employees at EVA Air would get a bonus of three months' salary.

The workers' absence caused serious delays to dozens of passenger and cargo flights on Jan. 1 and to "a handful" of departing passenger flights the following day, according to EVA Air.

The situation was brought under control Tuesday, with only 10 employees taking leave, and no flights were delayed, EGAS said, but some of its workers have suggested they may take leave during the Lunar New Year holiday season, a peak travel season in Taiwan.

With the start of the Lunar New Year holiday only 16 days away, the TIAS settlement with its union may put pressure on EGAS to make concessions to its employees.

As of Wednesday night, the company had not commented on the TIAS settlement or its workers demands for higher year-end bonuses.

(By Wu Jui-chi and Lee Hsin-Yin)


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