China Airlines pilots union strikes midst Lunar Holidays

KC Shih,CC BY 2.0

Updated on 08.02.2019, at 16:55 (UTC +2)

China Airlines cancelled 23 flights between February 8-10, 2019, due to pilot union strike. The airline has also agreed to meet with representatives of the union, of which 900 its pilots are members of, and the government officials on February 9, 2019, South China Morning Post reports

Taoyuan Pilots Union first warned about the brewing collective action at the beginning of February 2019. Since then, the  tension kept rising.

On February 4, 2019, China Airlines management addressed the issue during a press conference. According to Taiwanese media reports, CEO Hsieh Shih-chien claimed the carrier will ultimately “take passengers to their destinations”, but did not guarantee flight delays would be avoided.

The following day, on February 5, the union conducted the first strike drill, deeming it highly  successful in terms of pilot participation. According to Taoyuan Pilots Union, 80% of pilots “cooperated and demonstrated firm determination to strike”.

A day later, the union accused China Airlines of legal interference attempt, but claimed that the legality of the strike would not be affected. On February 7, it announced that there is still no agreement over one of the core issues (namely, fatigue), adding that “The union is forced to be ready to launch the strike at any time!”

In case of strike, China Airlines were reported as claiming they have contingency plan in place, which includes employing larger aircraft, more effective use of staff and reaching out to partners from Sky Alliance for help.

Labour dispute between Taoyuan Pilots Union and China Airlines is an ongoing issue. The parties are understood to be at odds on variety of issues, including rest time, bonuses, greater pilot autonomy, etc. In August 2018, the two sides reached a preliminary agreement some of the issues, leaving the rest be solved during further talks.

Taoyuan Pilots Union is not the first one unhappy about how their employer views fatigue. For more on the topic see:


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