Taiwan's China Airlines Pilot Strike


A strike by pilots of Taiwan’s flagship international airline has left some 20,000 passengers without flights toward the end of a major holiday week as bargaining has produced no results.

About 600 of the 900 unionized China Airlines pilots have refused to work since Friday, grounding scores of scheduled flights. The pilots went on strike because their bargaining unit, Pilots Union Taoyuan, could not persuade the airline to ease workloads and raise pay, union board director Chen Pei-pei said. Advertisement >

The strike had forced cancellation of 80 flights as of Monday and cost China Airlines $34 million in business, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Some of the money has gone to compensating the passengers on cancelled flights, including on the Taipei-Los Angeles and Taipei-Vancouver routes.

Labor strikes are rare in Taiwan compared to in Western countries because companies normally discourage unions, said John Brebeck, senior advisor at the Quantum International Corp. investment consultancy in Taiwan. “My sense is that all the power lies with the corporates,” Brebeck said.

 But pilots can make more demands on employers in Taiwan because good ones are scarce, he said.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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