EVA strike in Taiwan slammed for compromising consumer rights

Consumer rights group calls for implementation of notice period prior to airline strikes

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EVA Air counter

EVA Air counter (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With Taiwan's aviation industry currently undergoing its third strike this year, the island’s non-profit consumer rights organization warned industry players on Friday (June 21) not to treat consumers as “a piece of meat on the chopping board.”

Wu Jung-ta (吳榮達), Secretary-General of the Consumers’ Foundation, took the opportunity to advocate for the establishment of a reliable system for regulating how workers go on strikes. He believes notice should be required before any strike is to take place, and he also proposes implementing an accountability mechanism through legislative process or contractual relationship to help safeguard the rights of consumers, reported UDN.

The “ambush" strike mounted by EVA Air flight attendants on Thursday (June 20) has led to the cancellation of over 100 flights. The walkout comes on the heels of two other strikes earlier this year, one by China Airlines pilots during the Lunar New Year holiday and the other by Far Eastern Air Transport last month.

Wu urged the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) to review the country’s policies addressing strikes and suspension of service in the aviation industry. Sound negotiation and notification mechanisms are also needed to ensure that the rights of passengers are protected, he said.

The notice period must be 7 to 10 days prior to a strike, he added.

The Consumers’ Foundation also makes the case for full refunds for passengers affected by the strike. EVA Air should pay damages to all those affected, including fees arising from delayed trips and accommodation changes as well as flight plans. Passengers are advised to keep all of their receipts so they can file for compensation.

The Consumers' Foundation complaint hotline is 02-2700-1234