Taiwan-based EVA trying to arrange flights for 105,700 customers as strike drags on

(CNA photo)

(CNA photo)

An ongoing strike by flight attendants of EVA Air will result in the cancelation of 911 flights June 24-28, which will affect more than 100,000 of its passengers who had previous bookings for that period, the Taiwanese carrier said Sunday.

The airline said it will be able to maintain its transportation capacity at about 40 percent over the next five days, but had stopped accepting new bookings since June 21 in order to provide service to the 105,700 customers who had booked flights prior to the June 20 strike to travel in the period June 24-28.

The airline said it will put some of the passengers on its flights that are still in operation and will try to find alternative flights on other airlines for other customers.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said it hoped the matter could be resolved before June 29, when the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union is scheduled to hold a vote on whether to continue the strike.

There has been no indication, however, that the privately owned airline will compromise on the main issues that led to the strike.

Deputy Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) on Sunday urged both sides to restart the negotiations as soon as possible to end the impasse over flight attendants' work conditions.

It is also important to establish clearer rules pertaining to industrial action in the aviation industry, so as to minimize the impact on passengers, he said.

In particular, Wang said, there should be rules requiring aviation workers to give notice of an impending strike and say how long it would last.

Commenting on that issue, Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) said that in the current case of EVA Air, there was no need for the union to give notice of the strike, since it had already held a vote among its members weeks before that resulted in a decision on June 7 to take industrial action if the negotiations failed.

The vote was a legal procedure under the Act for Settlement of Labor-Management Disputes and served as notice of the strike, Hsu said, adding that it is up to the MOTC to review the Civil Aviation Act to see whether amendments are necessary.

In two previous strikes by aviation workers in Taiwan, the labor-management disputes were resolved within a week, after the government intervened.
However, those strikes were by workers of China Airlines, a carrier in which a government body holds the largest share.