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TAIPEI - A pilot strike has forced Taiwan-based China Airlines to cancel 22 flights departing from the island on Friday and Saturday, affecting about 4,000 passengers, the airline said.
The canceled flights include those for destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Wuxi, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Bangkok.
At a news briefing held Friday by the China Airlines branch of Pilots Union Taoyuan, the branch union reiterated its request for improving fatigue flight conditions as many pilots of the airline have complained about long hours on long-distance flights, with pilot representatives calling for flight safety and refusing to be overworked.
The branch union also requested transparent pilot training and promotion, no coercion to trade union members and replacement of the airline manager in charge of labor relations.
More than 700 of the 900 member pilots of the union took part in a rehearsal of the strike on Tuesday, and the number is estimated to climb in the coming days, according to the union.
Pilots Union Taoyuan agreed to suspend the strike for a year after negotiating with the Taoyuan city government in August 2018, but the union decided to relaunch the strike earlier this month after the airline has allegedly ignored the union"s request concerning fatigue flight.
Hsieh Shih-chien, general manager of China Airlines, said the airline has launched an emergency response mechanism and tried to reschedule its flights to reduce the impact brought by the strike as much as possible.
Hsieh said the airline is open to negotiating with the union, and he hopes representatives of the union could return to the negotiating table.