Taiwan Legal Update: EVA Air to continue strike & European Union removes Taiwan from Illegal Fisheries watchlist

WEEKY NEWS PICTURE (TW)

Taiwan Legal Update: EVA Air to continue strike & European Union removes Taiwan from Illegal Fisheries watchlist

EVA Air to cancel over 300 flights next week as Labor strike continues

EVA Air and the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union (TFAU) held the third meeting at Renaissance Hotel in Taipei today after the two parties resumed dialogue following the union’s vote to strike. Minister Hsu Ming-Chun of the Ministry of Labor (MOL) came in person and delivered the speech. The meeting was co-chaired by MOL Deputy Minister Liu Shih-Hao, Lawyer Jessika Ko and Professor Fan Yu, both experts of labour relations. The Ministry of Communications, Civil Aeronautics Administration, and Taoyuan City Government’s Department of Labor also sent representatives to attend the meeting, which was broadcast live to the public.

The conclusion of this meeting was Eva air confirming that 54 out of 93 flights departing from Taiwan will be cancelled, affecting 11,600 passengers.  59 flights returning to Taiwan will also be canceled, impacting a further 13,000 passengers, according to Eva Air.

Eva immediately deployed response team as soon as they were aware of TFAU strike action. The airline has been able to maintain 40 per cent of its entire flight capacity over the weekend, with 122 out of 177 flights cancelled on Saturday.

Nonetheless, the deadlock between labour and management is yet to be resolved and the likelihood of a speedy resolution is dwindling. On 29th June, the union said it will hold another vote for its 3,200 EVA air flight attendants to decide whether the strike will continue. According to the union, 1900 flight attendants have surrendered their passports, their Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents and their EVA Air employee identification cards to commit themselves to remain on strike until a settlement is reached. Therefore, it is likely that this strike will continue.

Consequently, Eva air has announced that it will no longer accept new bookings before June 29th and has cancelled at least 670 flights between Saturday 22nd and 29th June.

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European Union removes Taiwan from Illegal Fisheries watchlist”

On the 27th the European Union (EU) announced on that it has cancelled the “correction recommendation” (also known as the Yellow Card) of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishery which was issued to Taiwan. The yellow card was received in October 2015 and Taiwan was warned to take effective action to resolve this matter. Upon failure to do so, the EU will issue a red card and it will no longer be possible to export seafood to the EU. The yellow card was of concern to foreign traders and had a negative impact on price. This is why the government deemed it necessary to work with fishermen and companies to strengthen fishery management.

The EU’s decision to lift Taiwan’s yellow card follows 3.5 years of constructive cooperation between Taiwanese authorities and the European Commission. This cooperation led to the structural reforms of distant-water fisheries, legal framework and control systems. These mechanisms provide Taiwanese authorities with a broad range of modern and efficient tools to fight IUU fishing.

The new measures include:

  • A comprehensive review of the distant-water fisheries legal framework
    • to align with the International Law of the Sea – including through the establishment of a deterrent sanctions scheme.
  • Strengthening of the distant-water fleet monitoring and control tools, including a reinforced Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), the obligation to be equipped with electronic logbook, observer coverage in line with RFMOs requirements and the development of an inspection scheme for both domestic and foreign ports.
  • Implementation of the FAO Port States Measures Agreement to foreign-flagged vessels calling in Taiwanese ports.
  • Enhanced traceability system covering the whole supply chain.
  • Enforcement of the revised legislation and of the new sanctions scheme.
  • Significant reinforcement of the financial and human resources dedicated to the fight against IUU fishing. 

The IUU Regulations do not specifically address working conditions on board fishing vessels. Nonetheless, improvements in fisheries control and law enforcement are likely to have a positive impact on the control of labour conditions in the fisheries sector.

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