In response to China Television Co’s (CTV, 中視) plan to cancel its early retirement program, a group of CTV union members yesterday staged a protest in front of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) headquarters, urging the former owner of the company to assist CTV workers in negotiations with the company.
Chanting “Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) assumes office, we become unemployed” in front of the building, CTV union members blamed CTV’s decision to cancel the retirement program on the KMT for selling the company.
“The union voted for President Ma during the presidential election, but the KMT has not promised us anything or offered any help. Ma has cheated us of our votes,” said a union member, who asked to remain anonymous.
The KMT-owned Central Investment Co (中央投資公司) sold Broadcasting Corporation of China, Central Motion Picture Co and China Television Co to China Times Group subsidiary Jungli Investment Co (榮麗投資公司) in 2005 for NT$9.3 billion (US$280.7 million).
The transaction was facilitated by Hua Hsia, an investment firm owned by the KMT, and the relationship between Jungli Investment Co and Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co has led some to question whether the two companies and the KMT are still working together.
CTV is planning to cancel its 15-year early retirement program and return to a standard retirement plan under the regulations of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法). The law stipulates that employees must have worked at the same company for more than 25 years, or be more than 55 years old and have worked for 15 years, in order to retire and receive a full pension.
The change would affect more than 200 employees at CTV if implemented.
The CTV plan follows recent layoffs at Chinese-language newspaper the China Times, with the China Times Group claiming that financial considerations forced it to cut the size of the newspaper.
KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) later appeared and received the union’s statement on behalf of KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), but did not offer any promises.
“The KMT is facing a difficult financial situation, too ... But we will let the Presidential Office know about your situation,” he said.
KMT Central Standing Committee member Yao Chiang-lin (姚江臨) later promised the union that he would make sure their voices were heard.