Resumption of EVA Air, flight attendants talks likely: CAA

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EVA Air has made significant concessions since negotiations started with the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union about one year ago, including increasing flight attendants' pay and introducing measures to address the issue of flight attendants working more than 12 hours straight. (NOWnews)
EVA Air has made significant concessions since negotiations started with the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union about one year ago, including increasing flight attendants' pay and introducing measures to address the issue of flight attendants working more than 12 hours straight. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — EVA Airways management and the flight attendants union are likely to resume negotiations after both sides indicated a willingness to make concessions to end the flight attendants strike which started June 20, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said on June 25.

EVA Air has made significant concessions since negotiations started with the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union about one year ago, including increasing flight attendants’ pay and introducing measures to address the issue of flight attendants working more than 12 hours straight, according to CAA.

However, the carrier continues to reject union demands for “no free ride” terms that exclude non-union members from higher daily allowances granted flight attendants and for greater representation on the airline’s board of directors, CAA said.

The union wants EVA Air to allow flight attendants to work only one leg of nine designated regional routes and rest overnight. Currently, EVA flight attendants on those routes are required to work on both legs of each trip, which they say often results in them working over 12 hours, in contravention of the Labor Standards Act, CAA noted.

However, recent reports by local media have questioned whether the Labor Standards Act applies to the airline industry.

In response, the airline has given flight attendants the option of working those routes on a monthly rotation, offering those who accept more days off.

The program was introduced on the Taoyuan-Phnom Penh route in March and is scheduled to be implemented on the Taoyuan-Tokyo route in July, according to CAA.

In terms of increasing flight attendants’ pay, EVA Air started a program in January to ensure all flight attendants are paid for a minimum of 60 hours work per month.

Currently, the airline’s flight attendants work an average of about 80 hours per month.

Moreover, EVA Air has added a NT$150 (US$4.83) on-duty bonus per flight for flight attendants working overseas routes in addition to the current daily allowance of NT$90 per hour per flight, according to CAA.

A day earlier, the union said that it is flexible when it comes to negotiating with the airline, adding that it will not insist the daily allowance for flight attendants be raised from NT$90 to NT$150 per flight and will drop its insistence on greater representation for flight attendants on the airline’s board of directors.

There is still leeway for discussion about the “no free ride” terms, the union said, adding that it does not rule out the possibility of bringing forward a vote to end the strike originally scheduled for Saturday, if the management presents an improved offer.

By Yu Hsiao-han and Evelyn Kao