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January, 25, 2017

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Staff, banks should enjoy same rights: Labor Ministry

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- TransAsia Airways' (復興航空) employees should enjoy the same creditors' rights as banks, the Labor Ministry (勞動部) said on Tuesday, on the eve of a second round of labor negotiations.

The Labor Ministry has informed TransAsia Airways' creditor banks that the airline's employees are also partially entitled to its aircraft, valued at NT$5 billion, the ministry's Department of Employment Relations (勞動關係司) Director Wang Ho-wei (王厚偉) said.

An NT$600 million trust fund previously set up to cover redundancy payments and severance is available to reimburse the laid off employees under the supervision of the Justice Ministry (法務部), Wang said.

The banks are proactively seeking a buyer to purchase TransAsia's two A330 aircraft — valued at NT$5 billion in total. The funds will be placed in an account and distributed between employees and banks according to the law, Wang said.

He asserted that the ministry had worked to coordinate between domestic airlines to encourage the recruitment of TransAsia's employees.

"The Labor Ministry is willing to provide career training for those who wish to leave the aviation industry," Wang said.

Wang called on TransAsia Chairman Vincent Lin (林明昇) to meet with his employees and to resolve the deadlock in which management and union representatives cannot agree on the terms of the severance package.

Wang said Lin should fulfill his corporate social responsibility by offering severance packages that exceed the legal minimum, so as to earn back public respect.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA,民航局) under the Transportation and Communications Ministry (交通部) also commented on the relocation of employees on Tuesday, promising that airlines that hire TransAsia's employees will get extra points in the competition for flight routes.

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