EVA Air files police report against flight attendants union

Taipei, EVA Airways Corp. reported the Taoyuan Flight Attendants' Union to the police in the wake of an ongoing strike by flight attendants Thursday, accusing the union of refusing to return their passports.

Tsai Yii a lawyer who represents EVA Air, filed a report at Nankan police station in Taoyuan, as the strike entered its eighth day.

Tsai said he is representing 32 flight attendants who want to return to work, adding that EVA Air informed the union Wednesday night, asking for the return of their passports, mainland China travel permits and EVA Air employee IDs.

As of 10 a.m., Thursday, the union had not returned the documents, forcing the airline to report the matter to the police, Tsai said.

Withholding a passport violates Article 32 of the Passport Act and can result in a custodial sentence of three years or a fine of up to NT$300,000 (US$10,000), the police said.

Union official Lee Ying denied the charge, stressing that the union respects EVA Air's legal rights and fully supports its striking members.

Another union official Yeh Yifan stressed that those individuals who want to reclaim their ID documents have to do it in person, fill in a form and wait for two days.

As of noon, a total of 45 flight attendants had sought to reclaim their ID documents, with 19 already returned, the union said.

Flight attendants were required to hand the three documents to the union to show their resolve to strike.

Despite the fact that the union moderated its position on several key issues submitted to the Ministry of Labor earlier Thursday, in the hope of persuading management to return to the negotiating table, EVA Air has failed to respond, indicating that dispute between the 2,200 striking flight attendants and the airline will continue.

Following discussions with striking members overnight, the union has softened its position on three core demands raising the overseas daily allowance, appointing a labor representative to the company board, and insisting that nonunion employees must not receive benefits negotiated by the union.

The union has introduced new proposals and is keen to see the strike wrap up as soon as possible, Lee said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel