Pilots’ union reaches deal with Taiwan’s Eva Air, averting strike

TAIPEI — A pilots’ union late on Sunday reached a deal with Taiwan’s Eva Airways to avert a strike that had been threatened over the crucial Lunar New Year holiday in a dispute over salaries and working conditions.

Taoyuan Union of Pilots said last week its members had voted to authorize a strike after accusing Eva of not raising salaries enough and employing too many foreign pilots. The union, which represents mostly long-haul pilots, had raised the prospect of striking over the week-long Lunar New Year holiday starting next month.

After talks facilitated by the government, the union said it had reached a four point agreement with the airline, with Eva agreeing to raise salaries and only hire foreign pilots if there is a “special need”.

Eva, in a statement to the Taiwan stock exchange, said it had reached a “consensus” with the union and confirmed it had signed the agreement.

Eva shares rose more than 5% on Monday morning, compared with a flat broader market.

Employee salaries and benefits will continue to be improved in the future, the airline added in a separate statement.

Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan witnessed the signing of the agreement, Taiwan’s transport ministry said.

Eva, best known internationally for the Hello Kitty livery on some of its jets, operates flights to many destinations around Asia as well as to North America, Europe. and Australia. It is Taiwan’s second-largest carrier after China Airlines. — Reuters