China Air­lines pi­lots vote to strike on near-unan­i­mous vote

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Mem­bers of the Taoyuan Union of Pi­lots ( ), which in­cludes nu­mer­ous pi­lots from Tai­wan’s na­tional car­rier China Air­lines (CAL, ), over­whelm­ingly ap­proved a mo­tion to strike, ac­cord­ing to re­sults made public yes­ter­day. Ac­cord­ing to the Union of Pi­lots, of 598 votes cast, an over­whelm­ing 596 ap­proved the move to strike. Two mem­bers ab­stained.

The vote, con­ducted by the pi­lots union from April 4 to April 25, is his­toric for the is­land’s avi­a­tion in­dus­try, as it rep­re­sents the first time the em­ploy­ees of an air­line have ob­tained the legal right to strike.

Union Chair­man Yang Kuang­hai ( ), also a pi­lot of CAL said that fur­ther dis­cus­sions about strat­egy and lo­gis­tics per­tain­ing to the pos­si­ble strike would be ham­mered out this Thurs­day.

Pi­lots Set Deal Dead­line for

May 11

Pi­lots rep­re­sent­ing the union have sev­eral de­mands, in­clud­ing the re-eval­u­a­tion of work- ing hours and al­lot­ted days off. Union of­fi­cials have pre­vi­ously called the en­sur­ing of ad­e­quate off time a crit­i­cal mat­ter con­nected with the well-be­ing of pi­lots and flight safety. They in­di­cate that cur­rent com­pany pol­icy on the sur­face al­lo­cates eight days off per month, but that in ac­tu­al­ity due to sched­ul­ing and lo­gis­tics, the ac­tual num­ber is closer to five days.

The union also de­manded changes to the com­pany’s toplevel man­age­ment, con­tin­u­ing crit­i­cisms it made public in March 2015. Then, it ac­cused CAL Chair­man Sun Hung-hsiang ( ) of mis­man­age­ment lead­ing to the decline of in­flight ser­vice qual­ity. The union col­lected more than 3,000 signatures from Fe­bru­ary to March 2015 to oust the com­pany’s cur­rent man­age­ment.

Re­main­ing ar­eas of dis­pute also in­clude the com­pany’s equip­ment re­pair poli­cies, fill­ing per­son­nel short­ages and end­ing other cost-cut­ting mea­sures.

In Jan­uary 2015, ap­prox­i­mately 1,000 CAL em­ploy­ees demon­strated out­side com­pany head­quar­ters in Taipei over the amount of their year-end bonuses. Com­pany pi­lots, me­chan­ics and other em­ploy­ees joined in sol­i­dar­ity.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions with Pi­lots

On­go­ing: CAL

CAL re­sponded yes­ter­day to the re­ports, stat­ing that it would con­tinue ne­go­ti­a­tions with the union, which it claims have been on­go­ing, in or­der to pre­vent po­ten­tial traf­fic dis­rup­tions fol­low­ing a strike. It added that con­sen­sus in the union on sev­eral is­sues would lead to con­crete ne­go­ti­a­tions on May 11. The Min­istry of La­bor, while main­tain­ing that only teach­ers and sol­diers are barred from strike ac­tion, called for con­tin­ued dia­logue be­tween man­age­ment and em­ploy­ees due to po­ten­tial dis­rup­tions.

The Civil Aero­nau­tics Ad­min­is­tra­tion ( CAA, ) in­di­cated that a re- eval­u­a­tion of avi­a­tion- re­lated work hours in ac­cor­dance with the Civil Avi­a­tion Code ( ) was ini­ti­ated last year in or­der to re­duce pi­lot fa­tigue. The re­port is due to be re­leased early next month.

CAL cur­rently op­er­ates in 115 des­ti­na­tions across 29 coun­tries and re­gions.

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