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Chaos at Taipei airport after CAL flight attendants end 2-day strike

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Chaos at Taipei airport after CAL flight attendants end 2-day strike.

PublishedJun 26, 2016, 2:07 pm SGT

Huang Hui-chen (left), spokeswoman for the China Airlines flight attendant union, speaks to flight attendants, protesting outside the airlines' Taipei headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 24.



Huang Hui-chen (left), spokeswoman for the China Airlines flight attendant union, speaks to flight attendants, protesting outside the airlines' Taipei headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 24.PHOTO: EPA




TAIPEI - The first-ever strike by flight attendants in Taiwan has ended after two days of stoppage that saw almost 200 flights cancelled and about 30,000 passengers stranded, media reports said on Sunday (June 26).

China Airlines (CAL) will resume 80 to 90 per cent of flights scheduled for Sunday (June 26) before fully restoring regular flight service at midnight on Monday, the reports said.

CAL was forced to cancel 55 of 81 scheduled flights on Saturday, on top of 122 on Thursday and Friday, after the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union which represents 2,500 CAL flights attendants started the protest on Thursday, Central News Agency reported.

Hundreds of flight attendants staged a sit-in outside the firm’s office in Taipei, protesting a new requirement that they report for work in Taoyuan – on the outskirts of Taipei – rather than downtown Songshan airport, Agence France-Presse reported.

Some 30,000 passengers at the two airports and abroad were affected by the stoppage.

The protest came to an end late Friday after new CAL management agreed to all seven demands raised by the union, including increasing overseas flight subsidy from US$2 (S$2.70) per hour to US$5 and annual rest days from 118 to 123, CNA said.

“After a marathon negotiation of four and a half hours, we got a good deal,” Chao Kang, the head of the Taoyuan Flight Attendant Union said according to AFP.  The strikers, many in tears, chanted: “Victory for flight attendants”.  

But the Taoyuan airport was overrun with backlog on Saturday morning, China Post reported. Many passengers lashed out at flight attendants, accusing them of being selfish for demanding extra leave in the wake of the strike, while CAL ground staff members complained about bearing the brunt of the backlash from passengers.

In a meeting with representatives of the Travel Agent Association of the Republic of China, CAL chairman Ho Nuan-hsuan was quoted by China Post as saying that 80 to 90 per cent of flights on Sunday would take off as scheduled, before the company resumes normal operations on Monday.

The company suffered daily losses of some NT$280 million during the strike, he said, and would have to set aside an additional NT$200 million annually to meet the union's demands.

The travel agent association estimated at least 400 tourist groups were affected by the strike, and estimated losses to total nearly NT$50 million (S$2 million).

France labour dispute: Paris protests descend into violence

Posted by thehrdiary on June 15, 2016 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

France labour dispute: Paris protests descend into violence

14 June 2016

Protests in Paris over a French labour reform bill have turned violent, with at least 40 people injured, including 29 police officers, and 58 arrests.

At least 75,000 demonstrators had convened in the capital as the upper house of parliament debated changes to employment laws.

One of the city's best-known attractions, the Eiffel Tower, was closed due to strike action by staff.

The labour reform makes it easier for employers to hire and fire workers.

It would also relax the limit on working hours. The bill has been approved by the National Assembly (lower house) and is now going through the Senate.

Police said the clashes in Paris involved "several hundred masked people", who threw chunks of paving, set bins ablaze and smashed some shop windows. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon.

In the evening two "Autolib" electric cars were set ablaze, as were four other vehicles elsewhere in Paris, police said.

Students and several unions organised protests across the country, part of weeks of industrial action.

The CGT union said 1.3 million people demonstrated, but the police estimate was much lower - about 125,000.

Rail workers and taxi drivers are also on strike, disrupting transport.

The crowd marched from south-east Paris to the Invalides, a monument complex and magnet for tourists.

The unrest coincided with the Euro 2016 football championship - a major challenge for French police, marred already by violence among fans.

In a separate protest, Air France pilots went on strike to demand better working conditions.

An estimated 20% of all Air France flights were cancelled as a result, the company said.







French labour reform bill - key points:

1) The 35-hour week remains in place, but as an average. Firms can negotiate with local trade unions on more or fewer hours from week to week, up to a maximum of 46 hours

2) Firms are given greater freedom to reduce pay

3) The law eases conditions for laying off workers, which is strongly regulated in France. It is hoped companies will take on more people if they know they can shed jobs in case of a downturn

4) Employers to get more leeway to negotiate holidays and special leave, such as maternity or for getting married. These are currently also heavily regulated


 French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he could "no longer bear the attacks against the police".

 He called on protesters "to find within themselves a little humanity, tolerance and respect".

 Demonstrations against the reform bill began on 9 March and led to a massive demonstration on 31 March, when nearly 400,000 people came out in protest across France.