China Airlines branch of ‘Pilots Union Taoyuan’ has announced that the pilots is on strike started at 0600 (UTC+8), 8th Feburary, 2019. Affecting flight departing from/to 2 airports in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
This is the first Strike for pilots in Taiwan’s Aviation history, and the second in the company since the flight attendants strike in 2016. The Airlines has confirmed that 26 flights flying to/from Taiwan has been cancelled till 11th FEB, affecting more than 3,0000 passengers during the weekend.
By the latest update, total 32 flights has been cancelled 9th, February, including 12 flights to Hong Kong, one of the company’s busiest route.
More than 700 Pilots expected to join the industrial action by the call from the China Airlines branch of ‘Pilots Union Taoyuan’.
Pilots Union Taoyuan, are requesting for better benefits and accommodations and specifically better working hours. “We are asking the company to remove factors that cause pilots fatigue and threaten flight safety,” said Lee Hsin-yen, chairwoman of the Pilots Union Taoyuan, at the news conference in the morning.
The Union requested Airline for some of the major improvements.
- Assigning “four men crew” instead of the usual “three-men crew” for flights more than 12 hours, while three pilots for flights more than 8 hours;
- The transparency of the promotion system shall also be reviewed. The appraisal system should increase the ratio of objective results such as flying hours, experience in the company and priority ,which reducing the influence of subjectivity by superior. The company shall also proactively provide the vacancy for each fleets and the progress of promotion to the pilots;
- Protection to the recruitment and training of local pilots: Resume cadet pilot programme and recruit Taiwanese CPL Holders, reducing the dependency of “Expat pilot” as the source of manpower.
The Airlines explained that the company has increased annual manpower costs by NT$120 million ($3.89 million) to fulfill some of the demands by the pilots, and have a wealth of other accommodations, including an aviation safety bonus and long holidays, which is one of the best-paid jobs in Taiwan. For the Working hours, the company reflected that the current arrangement for pilots is comply with civil aviation regulation and such industrial action would damage the company competitiveness.
The union said the employers were “using so-called ‘company competitiveness’ as an excuse and totally neglecting air safety , ignore the situation of overworking pilots”. It issued a condemnation, adding it “had no choice” and was “preparing to continue fight for their rights”.
The strike disrupted the travel itineraries of more than 30,000 passengers, including around 5,300 Taiwanese who were stranded overseas.
The airlines agreed to a meeting with the pilots union and transport officials on Saturday.
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