MOTC Scrambling as EVA Air Strike Looms|長榮空服員罷工投票 交部會資方擬策因應

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union held a vote on whether to strike on May 13. With regards to the possibility of EVA Air flight attendants going on strike, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it is still trying to close the distance between what management and labor want and it already met with the union last week to understand its demands. The ministry said it will try to schedule a meeting with EVA this week. It also said for the worst-case scenario, it has already asked China Airlines to transfer EVA passengers to in the hopes of lowering the impact on travelers.

With a flight attendants strike looming on the horizon, EVA's reservation rate has plummeted in May. If the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union votes to strike, the strike could start any time after June 6 and affect Dragon Boat Festival and summer holiday travelers. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has asked China Airlines to operate additional flights so EVA passengers can be transferred to China Airlines flights if the strike takes place.

We have already asked China Airlines to be on standby. Some other members of their Star Alliance will also help. Although (EVA Air)'s vote to strike starts today -- if at any point a consensus is reached, we hope (the strike) can be suspended at any time.

Tension is running high between EVA labor and capital. The ministry says it met with union officials last week and hopes to meet with EVA officials this week, and it is confident it can help bridge the gap between the two sides and prevent a strike. Meanwhile, the Taipei Association of Travel Agents says summer is peak travel season and tour groups purchased their seats long ago. As Taiwan doesn't have a strike notice period, however, travel agencies can only go with the flow.

When we receive notification (of a strike), we immediately send out the information. Of course, in certain special circumstances we ask them to go through the association and we explore the best ways to help them deal with the situation. If passengers can be transferred to other airlines, it's not too much of a problem.

The association says based on China Airlines' flight attendant and pilot strikes in the past, all it can do is notify members of a strike as soon as it starts and help transfer passengers to other airlines. The association also says unlike Europe, Taiwan does not have alternate modes of transportation available during airline strikes. As a result, business travelers are stranded on the island and tourists can't get in. The association says this is extremely damaging to Taiwan and the government should intervene as soon as possible to prevent the strike.
交通部次長 王國材表示:「華航已經有通知他待命了,然後他們的星空聯盟裡面的一些他們的成員,也會互相支援,雖然他們(長榮)今天開始罷工投票,但是如果在中間達到共識,這個我們希望說隨時可以停。」
台北市旅行公會理書長 吳志健表示:「當我們收到這(罷工)訊息的時候,我們就做一個即刻新訊息的傳達,當然有一些比較特殊狀況,就請他們反映到公會我們再協商,用甚麼方式幫他們處理,事實上能簽轉的,就屬於航空公司在簽轉,就不會有太大的問題,」