RCA parent firms to pay NT$560 mil.

  By Stephanie Chao ,The China Post April 18, 2015, 12:00 am TWN TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The decade-long lawsuit against the parent firms of Radio Corporation of America (RCA, 美奇異) bore results yesterday, as the Taipei District Court (台北地方法院) ordered RCA's current owners to compensate its former employees with a total of NT$560 million; concerns remain that the former employees will still walk away empty-handed. The court announced that it deemed the RCA brand and four related companies' usage of carcinogenic ingredients, such as trichloroethane (三氯乙烷), trichloroethylene (三氯乙烯), tetrachloroethene (四氯乙烯) and dichloromethane (二氯甲烷), had a direct correlation to many of the former employees' cancer diagnoses. General Electric (GE, 美奇異), Technicolor (formally Thomson SA), Technicolor U.S.A and Thomson Consumer Electronics (Bermuda) (百慕達Thomson) were ruled to be responsible in the lawsuit as well, due to their relationship with the RCA brand.

Next TV union threatens strike over work benefits

 (Editorial Note: As Next TV news labour negotiations broke down the union held a strike vote. The strike action received overwhelming support from union members. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, this is the first time a media union has obtained the right to strike. In the upcoming struggle, the union is facing a very hard situation. Without support from workers of other news stations, so far the struggle remains isolated.) Taipei Times  By Shelley Shan   The Next TV Workers’ Union yesterday threatened to go on strike as it accused the network of trying to curtail reporters’ benefits in order to reduce company losses. The network, which was previously owned by Next Media, was purchased by ERA Communications last year. Saying ERA had canceled many of the workers’ benefits, the union passed a resolution last week making it legitimate to go on strike. It became the first television network whose workers had approved the legal right to strike. The union further demanded that ERA not unilaterally cancel paid leave and holidays previously enjoyed by Next TV employees — including Labor Day, 12 days of sick leave and three typhoon holidays. Union president Cheng Yi-ping (鄭一平) said he stopped getting assignments and was demoted from his position as a television reporter to working full-time as union president after the union approved the resolution. CONTINUE READING

The Significance of Taiwan’s Anti-Service Trade Agreement Movement

Au Loong yu Translated by Bai Ruixue On Thursday, Taiwan’s anti service trade agreement movement will leave the Legislative Yuan and the occupation will come to an end. Some of its participants think that the movement has not achieved its aims and do not want to leave. As outsiders it is difficult for us to judge. However, although the objectives of the movement were already set very low[1], which has had the advantage of being able to unite the masses through a common denominator, as long as the government/Wang Jin-pyng was prepared to make minor concessionary gestures it would not be difficult for them to end the occupation. Nevertheless, the movement still has a historical significance. Although it did not set its aims very high, it made use of strong civil disobedience to occupy the Legislative Yuan for 22 days, which is something that the world rarely sees.

Seventeen worker unions come out against service trade pact

By Chi-hao James Lo, The China Post April 7, 2014, 12:02 am TWN TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Seventeen independent worker unions released a joint statement on Saturday stating their belief that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement provides no benefits to the working class, calling on all blue collar workers to hit the streets on May 1, Labor Day, to protest against the pact. Nineteen days into the anti-pact protest movement and the occupation of the Legislature, 17 worker unions including the National Federation of Independent Trade Unions (全國自主勞工聯盟), the Chunghwa Telecom Workers' Union (中華電信工會) and National Alliance for Workers of Closed Factories (全國關廠工人連線) released a joint statement relaying their position against the pact. The statement declared that the free-trade ideals behind the pact will not improve the current hardships of the working class.

To Strike is the Urgent Task for Taiwan’s Trade Unions

Labor Vision (Taiwan)  2014.03.29 Since the March 18 occupation of the Legislative Yuan, with the exception of the trade union of the Cosmos Bank, which explicitly proposed to strike in support of the students, trade unions in general have been hestitating in relation to the students‘ action. The Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions regards the issue of the service trade agreement with China as a political issue, and thinks it not appropriate for trade unions to strike over this reason. The Labor Rights Association even led several trade unions to demand for the early implementation of the trade agreement. We, however, declare that trade unions should not be absent from this anti-service trade agreement movement, rather they should strike to defend their own labor rights. In doing this unions are not just expressing solidarity with the students, rather they are also acting to fight for their own rights. Therefore trade unions should not allow themselves to be restricted by the law governing the right to strike, rather they should decide in accordance to what is to the best interest of labor. We hereby propose:

Petition: We Condemn the Taiwan government for Cracking down on Students And Support the Students’ Fight

Click here to endorse the statement (the English version appears after the Chinese version) Six days after the occupation of the Legislature Yuan on March 18, because of dissatisfaction with the authorities for failing to give a positive response to the students’ demand, of “returning the trade deal to the legislature for re-considering”, on the night of March 23, hundreds of students occupied the Executive Yuan, and quickly attracted thousands of people in support. However the Ma Ying-jeou government sent riot police to the site and bloodily cracked down on the peaceful occupation of students and their supporters. In the early hours of March 24, about 5,000 heavily armed riot police surrounded the Executive Yuan, wielding batons and shields, and started to beat the unarmed and peaceful occupants until many bled. In the end the police sent in water cannon, with water mixed with pepper spray, and began to attack the protestors who vowed to stay.

The Draft Bill on Dispatch Labor in Taiwan Protects Employers rather than Employees

A report by Labor Vision Taiwan. In February the Ministry of Labor Affairs in Taiwan approved a draft bill that aims to govern the use of temporary contract workers. The draft calls for a cap on the number of such workers at 3 percent of the total workforce of a company or organization in order to maintain job security for full-time workers. It also asks employers to make dispatch workers regular employees if their assignments last at least one year.

Labour Dispatch Protection Law: Protest by Labour Groups

More than 50 representatives from labour groups in Taiwan submitted a petition and protested outside the Council of Labour Affairs against the draft labour dispatch protection law. Some of the protesters argued that the law would not protect labour rights and instead safeguards the interests of the dispatch companies. They called for dispatch labour to be prohibited in favour of direct employment. The full report is only available in Chinese.

ASE Kaohsiung should treat its regular workers and its dispatch workers equally

ASE Kaohsiung is a Taiwan based electronics company. Recently it was ordered by the government to shut down for a dozen days for an environmental inspection. Labor Vision criticizes the management for its failure to pay workers with their full wages during the work stoppage, as this was not due to the fault of the workers. They demand that the management pay the same wages and compensation to both regular and dispatch workers. They also criticizes the workplace union for failing to support the dispatch workers’ right to equal treatment. ASE Kaohsiung is the subsidiary of the Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Group, which claims to be one of the world’s leading providers of semiconductor manufacturing services and a leader in offering a comprehensive range of advanced IC packaging. See the full article by Labor Vision Taiwan (Chinese only)

Long hours and low pay to become the norm: observer

The China Post news staff September 23, 2013, 12:03 am TWN TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Long working hours and low pay will become the norm in Taiwan's labor market as a result of the fast growth in atypical employment, an observer said Saturday. The number of atypical workers, including those who have only temporary employment or work on assignments by dispatch agencies, has risen to 740,000 so far this year, said Lin Yu-min, chief executive of the Chinese Personnel Executive Association (CPEA).
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