The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday confirmed allegations made by employees that Young Fast Optical Inc (洋華光電) had illegally employed workers under the age of 16 to work long hours.
The touch-panel sensor maker, which employs more than 700 people has recently been accused of several instances of malpractice by members of the company’s union, including illegal mass lay-offs of workers, replacing laid off domestic workers with foreign labor, failure to provide payment for overtime, insufficient allocation of labor pension funds and the illegal employment of cooperation education program students (under the age of 16) to work overtime.
The Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) prohibits cooperation education program students under the age of 16 working more than eight hours per day. Employers in violation are criminally liable and can be punished with up to six years in prison and fined up to NT$20,000.
The union alleged that Young Fast ordered its underage workers to be on duty for as long as 12 hours each day.
National Federation of Independent Trade Unions president Chu Wei-li (朱維立) also said that to avoid being investigated, Young Fast called an emergency meeting over the weekend to terminate its contracts with more than 300 students who had been forced to work overtime.
Young Fast is “completely blind to labor regulation laws,” Chu said. “People should know that the popular [touch screen] cellphones are ‘blood cellphones.’”
The CLA said labor officials at the Taoyuan County Government have investigated the claims made by the union and handed the case over to county prosecutors for further investigation.
The company posted a statement on its Web site two weeks ago denying the allegations. Calls to the company for comment yesterday went unanswered.
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