Air Crews Threaten to Ground China Airlines as Negotiations Break Down Again

As the peak summer travel season looms in Taiwan, unions representing flight attendants, pilots, and other airline workers are turning up the heat on China Airlines to fulfill promises made last year to increase rest days for pilots and reduce overtime for all crew members.

Pilots threatened collective action after negotiations broke down earlier this month. Unions representing flight attendants have joined in protest after the airline failed to resolve the issue of excessive overtime work at a meeting between the parties on May 27.

Unions representing aircrew argue that while the airline has opened new routes and increased flight schedules in recent years, it has failed to increase manpower to adequate levels. This has forced aircrew including pilots and flight attendants to work excessive hours.

A spokesperson for the union pointed out that excessive overtime not only jeopardized the health of workers, but also affected the safety of passengers. The union claimed that pilot fatigue and cost-driven demands were cited as partly responsible for the crash of TransAsia flight 222 on Penghu July 23 2014.

Flight crew protest in Taoyuan, Taiwan, May 2016
Flight service crews protest after talks broke down with airline management May 27, 2016, in Taiwan, Taoyuan. Picture:
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