Taiwan's EVA Air accuses union of blocking 100 flight attendants from returning to work

Taiwan's EVA Air accuses union withholding ID's from flight attendants to stop them from leaving strike

  17462
EVA Air official calling for return of IDs.

EVA Air official calling for return of IDs. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As the EVA Air flight attendants strike enters its sixth day, the airline Tuesday (June 25) accused the Taoyuan Flight Attendants' Union of withholding the ID's of up to 100 flight attendants who wished to return to work.

At a press conference on Tuesday, EVA Air said that nearly 100 flight attendants had expressed their desire to end their participation in the strike and return to their posts. The company said that it has received about 40 letters of attorney to retrieve their passports, Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents, and EVA Air employee ID cards.

However, the airline claims that the flight attendants were rejected by the union several times. At the press conference, EVA Air condemned the "bad behavior of the trade union," and demanded that the union return the ID cards as soon as possible, otherwise, they will report the case to authorities.

EVA public relations vice president David Chen (陳耀銘) said that the IDs were collected from members by the union on June 20, the day the strike began, reported Liberty Times. Later, when flight attendants who did not agree with the strike tried to return to work, they felt pressured by the union to continue striking and "dared not try to collect their IDs," so they gave letters of authorization to enlist the airline's help, according to Chen.

EVA Air claims that letters of authorization were obtained from the flight attendants and notarized in the Taoyuan District Court. Chen claims that on June 23, lawyers accompanied EVA Air representative to retrieve the IDs, but the union refused for various reasons.

On June 24, EVA took more than 40 letters of authorization to retrieve the IDs, but were still rejected by the union. When a flight attendant went to retrieve her IDs personally, she was also refused by the union.

Chen claims that the airline plans on reporting the union to authorities for violating Article 32 of the Passport Act (護照條例) by withholding their passports, according to the report. EVA Air appealed to the union to respect the flight attendants' right to work and allow them to return to their posts as soon as possible to enable resumption of regular flights.

EVA Air said it has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for assistance in applying for a new passport. However, MOFA believed that there were legal doubts, and the company is weighing its options.

In response, the union issued a statement saying that on the grounds that a few union members wanted to withdraw from the strike, the management has called for lawyers to submit a letter of authorization outside the picket line and ask the union to return their IDs. In this regard, the union could have ignored it, there are no violations of the law.

On the contrary, in recent years, many actions taken by the management to interfere with the picket line have threatened to violate the law, said the union. The union did not rule out taking legal action.

Since EVA Air members of the union have gone on strike, the IDs of more than 2,000 flight attendants have been voluntarily collected and held by the union, according to officials. This proves that the majority of EVA Air members have a "strong will and determination, and will never be shaken by a few people who change their minds," reported Liberty Times.