China Airlines to sue union over reputation and property damage

China Airlines (CAL), one of Taiwan's two major international airlines, said on Sunday it will file civil and criminal suits against the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union whose members -- mostly CAL staff workers -- threw eggs at the company's Taipei offices on Friday.

On Friday, about 300 union-affiliated China Airlines (CAL) flight attendants staged a protest at the company's Taipei branch office, demanding that the company raise their overseas stipend in response to what they called a violation of an agreement reached in June.

On June 24, CAL management reached a seven-point agreement with the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union, which represents CAL flight attendants, after around 1,500 of the carrier's flight attendants went on strike for better pay and working conditions.

Under the agreement, the pay for flight attendants on duty overseas would be raised to US$4 per hour from July 1 and US$5 from May 1, 2017. However, the pay hikes were to apply to union members only.

According to the union, CAL management violated the agreement by also increasing the stipend for flight attendants who are not members of the union. In response, the union demanded CAL increase the payment for union members to US$6 per hour.

Union secretary-general Lin Chia-wei (???) said CAL has lost all credibility after repeatedly breaking its promises.

CAL claimed it has made good on six of the seven points in the June agreement, with only staff performance evaluation policy still being discussed.

By throwing eggs at the company's Taipei office, the union members have damaged CAL's reputation and property "and in order to protect the interests of all employees and shareholders, we will file civil and criminal lawsuits against the union," CAL said in a statement on Sunday.

In response to the management's threat to sue, the union said the protest was triggered by management's failure to honor its agreement with the union, which legally applied for a permit to stage the protest.

Instead of communicating with the union, CAL has chosen to resort to legal threats in an attempt to intimidate union members, further undermining labor-management relations and setting a "bad example," the union charged.

The union has a sympathizer in Hung Hsiu-chu (???), chairwoman of the opposition Kuomintang, who a day earlier posted a Facebook message urging the Ministry of Labor to work out a solution to CAL's labor-management dispute so that the workers do not fall victim to a "game of words."

She demanded to know why the minister of labor has failed to oversee implementation of CAL's agreement with the union, which he mediated.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel