Fri, Sep 16, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Life insurer's employees go on strike

STAFF WRITER , WITH AFP

A six-day strike by employees of a local financial provider was launched yesterday, hot on the heels of the four-day work stoppage by Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀) workers that ended on Tuesday.

But, unlike the first strike, the labor action by Nan Shan Life Insurance (南山人壽) employees is not to protest the government's privatization plans, but what they called infringements of the labor law by management.

Hundreds of slogan-chanting employees of Nan Shan, affiliated with US insurance giant American International Group, yesterday demonstrated outside the company's headquarters in Taipei on the first day of their planned six-day strike, witnesses said.

The insurer's management allegedly forced workers to sign new employment contracts which did not include a provision that the company would pay insurance and health-cover fees for the workers, as required by law, a Nan Shan labor union official said, and neither would it pay pension fund contributions.

Companies in Taiwan are now required by law to set aside 6 percent of an employee's salary for a pension fund, after a new labor pension system came into effect on July 1.

"The new contracts are not fair because we would be required to work as full-time staff while being treated as temporary workers," union spokesman Tsai Wen-hsin said.

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