Wed, Dec 16, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER

■LABOR

Unpaid leave figures drop

The number of workers on unpaid leave still exceeds 17,000, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said. The latest figures released by the council show that, as of yesterday, 17,697 workers were on unpaid leave at 254 companies, down from 19,948 workers on unpaid leave at 336 companies at the end of last month. The number of people on unpaid leave has continued to drop since peaking at 238,975 in March. However, the council said the numbers have been dropping in smaller increments, from significant five-digit monthly decreases in the middle of the year to only a few thousand in recent months. Some labor groups have accused the council of looking only at the numbers that companies have chosen to report themselves. The groups said this could distort the unemployment picture. In order to increase the number of job openings, the council is planning to launch another stimulus program, which it predicted would create about 15,000 public sector jobs. The openings will be prioritized for those who are involuntarily unemployed or belong to disadvantaged groups.

■DIPLOMACY

Fishermen not released

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denied a news report that a group of fishermen who were detained by Myanmar late last month have been released. According to the Chinese-­language United Daily News, a businessman in Thailand said Beijing had played a major role in getting the men home. Ministry Deputy Spokesman James Chang (章計平) rejected the report and said that information gathered by Taiwan’s representative office in Bangkok showed that all four Taiwanese nationals who were captured for allegedly trespassing in Myanmar’s waters were still in captivity and waiting for the judicial process to take its course.

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