China Airlines Pilots Threaten Collective Action During Dragon Boat Festival Holidays

A breakdown in negotiations between a pilot’s union and Taiwan-based China Airlines has resulted in pilots threatening to take collective action during the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival Holiday.

This year the holiday which falls on June 9, will give Taiwan residents a four day holiday, and many will use the opportunity to fly domestically and abroad. Collective action would come in the form of 800 members of the pilot’s union applying for leave at this time: the same leave that all Taiwanese workers are entitled to under the labor laws.

China airlines previously agreed to the pilot’s union demand for 116 rest days per year, but have been unable to meet the demand due to a manpower shortage and an increase in the number of flights.

Last year, May 28, 2015, the airline signed a 7-point agreement with the union which included a guaranteed 116 rest days for pilots. However, since July 2015, China airlines has increased its flight schedule from 68, 000 flights to a current 82, 000 flights per year, without an adequate increase in manpower to meet the demands agreed to.

Due to the manpower shortage, pilots have between 25 to 50 days less than the 116 rest days they are demanding.

The union and airline will go back to the negotiating table next week.

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