Taiwan News: Transport Ministry Mediates as Pilots' Strike Enters 4th Day

Taiwan News: Transport Ministry Mediates as Pilots' Strike Enters 4th Day
Credit: lasta29 / CC BY 2.0
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Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) has offered a compromise to the Taoyuan Union of Pilots in a pilots’ strike which enters its fourth day today.

Meanwhile, about 200 employees of China Airlines protested the strike on Sunday and questioned the role of union chairwoman Lee Hsin-yen (李信燕), who is a pilot for EVA Airways.

The strike kicked off on Friday over concerns of long working hours and employee fatigue, causing flight cancellations and delays to the dismay of frustrated passengers.

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Credit: Michael Rehfeldt / CC BY 2.0
Labor conditions on Taiwan's airlines are under the gun.

Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), deputy minister of transportation and communications, said Saturday the ministry had proposed the union and airline jointly review the need for three pilots on flights between six and eight hours. The union has said three pilots should be dispatched onto flights of over seven hours, while the airline maintains the limit should be set at eight hours.

Meanwhile, union chairwoman Lee Hsin-yen said she would consider asking EVA Airways to improve its work conditions for pilots if China Airlines pilots are able to successfully negotiate a better deal.

Read More: OPINION: EVA Air's Recent Scandals Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Taiwan, US to hold religious freedom event

Taiwan and the United States will hold a regional dialogue on religious freedom in Taipei on March 11 and 12, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

The event, organized by the Taipei-based non-profit Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), will be attended by U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who has been criticized in the past for anti-Islamic views and has lobbied Britain on behalf of a jailed right-wing activist.

Amanda Mansour, spokesperson for the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), told CNA the U.S. views religious freedom as an important issue and looks forward to holding the summit with Taiwan.

Legislative Speaker and TFD chairman Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), foreign minister and TFD vice president Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), and AIT director Brent Christensen will attend the event’s opening on March 11.

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Credit: Reuters / Joshua Roberts
Sam Brownback is set to visit Taiwan.
Other news from Taiwan:

► An aide of El Salvador president-elect Nayib Bukele said the new leader would assess whether to reestablish ties with Taipei. The Central American country switched its diplomatic recognition to Beijing in August 2018. (CNA)

► 2018 saw over 20,000 marriages between Taiwanese and foreigners. 6,944 (33.7 percent) of foreign spouses are from China, while 6,070 spouses are from Vietnam. (CNA)

► A paragliding coach has died and his passenger is in serious condition after an accident yesterday in Hualien County. (Taipei Times)

► Global investors have been turned off by Taipei’s ongoing offshore wind saga, as Danish firm Orsted A/E has not yet committed to developing its new power plant in Changhua County. (Financial Times)

► In case you missed it over Lunar New Year, U.S. Republican Senator Ted Cruz is urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to invite Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to address a joint session of Congress. (Taipei Times)

Read Next: Taiwan Can Benefit From the US Killing the INF Treaty With Russia

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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