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A strike by flight attendants at EVA Air, Taiwan’s second-largest airline, has left thousands of passengers scrambling for alternative transport.
Local media reported more than 100 flights were being canceled and almost 20,000 passengers affected on the first three days of the strike, which began Thursday afternoon after negotiations broke down. The airline operates about 80 international flights daily and its domestic operations were not affected.
About 100 union members staged a sit-in outside the airline’s suburban Taipei headquarters Thursday night to further press their demands.
On its Twitter feed, the airline said it was “working closely with concerned authorities, fellow airlines, and travel agencies to arrange alternative flights for passengers and doing all we can to reduce delays.”
“This untimely labor action will significantly impact and inconvenience our passengers, our flight attendants’ fellow employees, and the travel industry,” the airline said. Updates were being published on a strike response website and passengers could also call the airline’s reservation center.
Union members have demanded a raise in daily allowances and an end to the practice whereby non-union members enjoy the same benefits as members.
Management has said daily allowances are already higher than those offered by competitors and barring non-union members who do the same work from enjoying equal benefits would harm safety and morale.
Earlier this year, pilots at Taiwan’s largest carrier, China Airlines, went on strike for seven days over benefits and working conditions before reaching an agreement with the mediation of the transport and labor ministries and the vice premier.