'EVA Air is like a crab': Strikers marching 27 km to Taiwan Presidential Office

Striking EVA Air flight attendants marching 27 km from Taoyuan to Presidential Office in Taipei


(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- EVA Air members of the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union (TFAU) are marching 27 kilometers to the Presidential Office Building on Friday (July 5), as their strike enters its 16th day.

Over 30 members of the TFAU embarked on a march from Taoyuan to the Presidential Office in Taipei at 5:40 a.m. this morning to deliver a letter to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to show their determination to fight for labor rights. The marchers indicated that it will take them about 10 hours to wind their way from Taoyuan, through the New Taipei City district of Banqiao, to the Presidential Office Building in Taipei 27 km away, with an estimated arrival time of 3:30 p.m.

The initial plan had been for 120 strikers to join in the march, but the union had lowered its estimate to 30 participants by Thursday morning, according to the UDN. Due to the sweltering conditions, the union said it would provide energy drinks and raincoats to the marchers, while medical staff and police would accompany the group all along the route.

Marchers hold crab symbolizing EVA Air. (CNA photo)

TFAU representative Lin yu-chia (林昱嘉) told CNA that once the marchers reach the Presidential Office, they will present Tsai with a letter, hoping that she will "hear the voice of the flight attendants." They realize that the president is busy, but they are looking forward to a response from her.

Lin said that the union has spent a lot of time negotiating with EVA Air officials, but no clear progress has been made. She predicted that even after the strike finally ends, EVA Air will still seek to punish against those employees who went on strike.

The representative told CNA that "EVA Air is arrogant like a crab." Therefore, marchers have made a red crab which they are carrying on the march to symbolize EVA Air's "stubbornness," which as has forced them to go on "a slow, bitter journey," said Lin.

(CNA photo)

Currently, EVA Air has not yet proposed a time for the next session of negotiations, but the union will continue its hard work, said Lin. Lin said that the 27-kilometer march will travel through Taoyuan's Xinnan Road, Chunri Road, Sanmin Road, Changshou Road and Wanshou Road; New Taipei City's Zhongzheng Road, Dahan Bridge, Minsheng Road, Wanban Road and Wanban Bridge; Taipei City's Bangka Blvd, Zhonghua Road, Zhongxiao West Road, Gongyuan Road, Qingdao West Road, Zhongshan South Road, before finally arriving at Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office is located.

A meeting between management and union Wednesday (July 3) evening failed to reach any consensus, with the union still suspicious of EVA Air moves to retaliate against strikers, and management trying to prevent alleged untrue accusations by the union. As a gesture of goodwill, the union reportedly promised it would not strike on flights to and from Taiwan’s outer islands, UDN wrote.