EVA Air and flight attendants sign accord to end 17-day strike

Strike officially ends on July 10, full resumption of flights likely by end of month

Union representatives before the meeting which end...

Union representatives before the meeting which end... (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – EVA Air management and the Taoyuan Flight Attendants' Union signed an agreement Saturday evening (July 6) to end the unprecedented 17-day strike, though it will take until the end of the month to restore flights to their normal schedule.

The strike itself is not scheduled to end until midnight on July 10, reports said.

A week earlier, the union members had voted to end their unprecedented industrial action, but since then talks bogged down, mainly over concerns that the airline was planning to retaliate against the strike activists.

A third official round of talks, at the Taoyuan City Government under the stewardship of the Ministry of Labor, took place Saturday evening, and ended with the signing ceremony at 5:50 p.m., the Central News Agency reported.

During the airline strike, the longest in Taiwan history, EVA Air canceled 1,440 flights until Saturday, affecting more than 280,000 passengers. However, because a full resumption of normal flights will only be possible by the end of the month, 2,250 flights have been listed as canceled until July 19, according to CNA.

The strike cost the airline at least NT$2.78 billion (US$89 million) through July 5, according to government data.

The flight attendants’ action provoked varying reactions, with sympathizers arguing that employees were right to complain about long working hours and overtime, while others blamed the strikers for disrupting the travel plans of members of the public.