Sat, Jan 15, 2005 - Page 3 News List

KMT, party's union mull employee dismissal methods

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shortly after the outcry caused by a long-time employee's suicide, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) met with its union to discuss rumors of mass dismissals for the first time yesterday.

"The KMT delayed negotiating with its union. Even though there were no concrete results from the meeting, the meeting was ... acceptable," Liu Chien-sung (劉建崧), Director of the KMT's Workers' Union said after meeting with the party's leadership yesterday morning.

At the meeting, the KMT agreed to listen to the voices of its employees in their opinions for a large-scale employee dismissal plan. The party will work with the union in surveying employee preferences for either a one-time mass dismissal or gradual layoffs. The party also promised to give the union the responsibility of organizing meetings to explain the plan, thus giving the union a role in the dismissals, said Liu.

Liu, as well as Liao Feng-teh (廖風德), director of the KMT's organization development committee, Chang Che-chen (張哲琛), director of the party's administrative management committee and deputy administrative director Lin Yung-jui (林永瑞), yesterday's meeting was the first between union representatives and its leadership since rumors circulated in December that the KMT was planning to dismiss all 1,700 of its employees and rehire only 500 after the Lunar New Year.

Since December, the union requested twice that the party meet with its employees to discuss the rumors by the first week of January. But the pleas fell on deaf ears until the suicide of senior KMT employee Chen Wei-chieh (陳偉傑) early this month.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Chang acknowledged that while party plans for a large-scale employee dismissal will help along its beleaguered finances, there are no concrete timetable to fire all of its employees and hire back 500.

"It will be up to the survey by the union and the party management committee to see if our employees prefer a one-time dismissal or a graduated dismissal," said Chang yesterday.

In another development, Liu said yesterday that an employee seeking to be retired to the KMT's development committee is suing the KMT's leadership, including party Chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

"My colleague filed an application to be retired a long time ago, but he's had no word on it, which is against labor laws. Since we are not being paid on time and since there's no talk of a pension plan for employees, he's suing various party authority figures, including Lien," said Liu yesterday.

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