Taiwan pilots strike continues after talks break down

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Taipei, Feb 10 (IANS) Pilots in Taiwan continued their strike for a third day on Sunday after talks to end the logjam broke down without any headway.

Around 400 of China Airlines’ (CAL) over 1,300 pilots have been taking part in the strike since Friday which has so far led to the cancellation of 22 flights and another four delayed at the end of the Lunar New Year holiday — the island’s busiest period for air travel, reports Efe news.

The biggest carrier in Taiwan announced the cancellation of 17 flights on Monday and one on Tuesday due to the strike.

More than 5,000 passengers have been affected.

Pilots union president Lee Hsin-yen said that no date has been set for resumption of talks over their various demands including concessions to prevent pilot fatigue.

The union urged CAL to increase the number of pilots and co-pilots in flights longer than eight and 12 hours, as well as better pay and promotion process.

Other demands include a guarantee for full year-end bonus packages for employees.

The airlines, in which the government holds a 35 per cent stake, had initially responded to the strike by threatening to suspend the contracts of striking pilots but decided against going ahead with it on Saturday.

In June 2016, CAL pilots had led a 24-hour strike leading to the cancellation of 76 flights, affecting more than 20,000 passengers.

–IANS

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