Tue, Dec 10, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Labor rights draft passes first hurdle

STAFF WRITER

A draft bill designed to prevent sudden mass layoffs and oblige employers to negotiate with laid-off staff, passed its first reading in the legislature's Sanitation, Envi-ronment and Social Welfare Com-mittee yesterday.

The Council of Labor Affairs and DPP Legislator Lai Chin-lin (賴勁麟) both sponsored draft legislation to address problems created by companies suddenly shutting down and leaving their employees without any compensation.

The committee combined the two proposals into a "mass layoff status" bill.

The bill would require companies wishing to layoff substantial numbers of employees to submit a plan both to the CLA and the labor affairs departments of local governments 50 days in advance or faces fines ranging from NT$100,000 to NT$500,000.

The dismissal plan would have to detail the dates and reasons for the layoffs, the company departments involved and the number of employees affected.

The legislation would require the labor department of the relevant local government to mediate between the company and its employees. It stipulates that companies who refuse to negotiate would face fines ranging from NT$ 30,000 to NT$150,000.

From January to October this year, about 250,000 people lost their jobs because of a company's closure or restructuring -- accounting for almost half of the 520,000 people now listed as unemployed. More than 2,000 people are currently involved in disputes over layoffs.

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