Friday, May 22, 2015

China Airlines laundry union demands wage hike

China Airlines laundry union demands wage hike

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Members of the China Pacific Laundry Services Workers’ Union protest outside the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taipei yesterday morning, demanding that their base salary be raised to NT$28,000 per month.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

The China Pacific Laundry Services Workers’ Union yesterday morning protested outside the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, demanding a raise in base salary to NT$28,000 a month.
China Pacific Laundry Services Ltd is a joint venture between Swire Pacific and China Airlines (CAL), with the latter owning 55 percent of the company’s shares. Its facility at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport cleans uniforms for CAL flight attendants, as well as the blankets, seat covers and dining towels on the flights. The company’s chairman is also appointed by CAL.
The union said that the company has been telling the public that it had financial losses for 12 years before it was formally established. It added that the company also said that workers’ base salary was NT$20,273 a month, which exceeds the minimum wage set in the Labor Standards Act (勞基法).
“The truth is that the company had losses for only five years. The company said that an employee’s base salary includes various subsidies and performance bonuses, but these funds are excluded from the base of calculation for overtime pay, year-end bonuses and salary increases,” the union said in a statement, adding that the company was fined by the Taoyuan Department of Labor for these violations.
Union chairman Shen Chen-hsiung (沈振雄) said that the company, in a letter to its employees, even threatened to outsource the company’s services to contractors or lay off its employees if the union did not comply with the company’s policy, showing that it has absolutely no interest in resolving the dispute. He also said that the monthly salary for new employees was less than NT$20,000, which includes the base salary of NT$15,500 and NT$2,000 bonus for full attendance. Employees can only earn additional pay by working overtime.
“This should not be how a profitable company treats its employees,” he said.
The union also said that the ministry owns more than 50 percent of CAL and appoints officials at the airline. It said that what is happening to workers at China Pacific Laundry Services reflects badly on the ministry, which might be perceived as an agency that would lower wages for the sake of company profits.
In response, the ministry said that it would relay the appeal of the workers to both the minister of transportation and communications and deputy ministers, as well as executives at the airline.
It is the ministry’s hope that both the company and the union can reach a compromise within the law at a settlement meeting in Taoyuan on Monday, the labor department said.

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