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EVA cabin crew threaten strike

EVA Air cabin crew have threatened to go on strike over working conditions, after a flight attendants' union voted overwhelmingly in favour taking strike action.

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union has not announced if or when the strike could take place, but has not ruled out going on strike before negotiations with EVA Air restart on June 25.

Of the 5,933 union members who cast votes, some 4,038 members — including 2,949 from EVA Air — voted to strike, passing the legal threshold of at least 50% of members. Results of the month-long vote were announced on 7 June.

Among its requests, the union is asking the airline for better working hours and renumeration for its cabin crew.

EVA Air said on 7 June that it was "deeply disappointed" by the union's decision. It said, in a statement, that it had held multiple rounds of negotiations and meetings with the union to attempt reaching an amicable decision.

However, the airline said the union "never gave concrete responses and therefore, no consensus [was] reached".

EVA added that it was still open to negotiations with the union, and that it had informed the union that talks continue after 25 June, as it was preparing for a shareholders' meeting.

"[We] believe that pragmatic dialogue and rational negotiation are the best ways to resolve disputes," EVA said. The airline has also said that should a strike take place, the airline will set up an emergency response team to reduce inconveniences to passengers.

Taiwan's ministry of transportation and communications has also weighed in on the issue, saying that it has coordinated with other Taiwanese carriers, such as China Airlines, EVA subsidiary UNI Air, and Mandarin Airlines, in the event of a strike. It has also reached out to the defence ministry to assist, by deploying its military aircraft to support.

The impending strike comes less than half a year after China Airlines pilots went on a week-long strike during the peak lunar new year travel period.

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