Sat, Feb 07, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Hundreds of firms promise no layoffs

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

More than 800 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) yesterday agreed not to lay off any employees in response to the government’s efforts to tame unemployment.

The companies’ move follows a campaign initiated by the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (中小企業協會) after the unemployment rate climbed for the sixth straight month to a six-year high of 5.03 percent in December.

The campaign has garnered the support of the heads of seven other major industrial and business groups, including General Chamber of Commerce (全國商業總會) chairman Chang Ping-chao (張平沼), Taiwan Federation of Industry (工業協進會) chairman Lee Cheng-chia (李成家) and Chinese National Federation of Industries (工業總會) chairman Preston Chen (陳武雄).

These business leaders yesterday vowed to coordinate with their member companies and encourage them to endorse the campaign.

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), who was at the endorsement ceremony yesterday, thanked the companies for their support. He also said the government was working on providing subsidies to help college interns.

Lee, however, defended the recent massive layoffs by high-tech companies, saying they had no choice but to reduce costs to be able to continue operating.

The Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (電電公會) did not join the campaign.

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