CLA lays out ground rules
To protect workers’ rights, companies that are trying to cope with slowing demand should not institute unpaid leave for more than three months, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said yesterday. The suggestion was included in a notice released by the CLA to provide companies with guidelines for responding to the economic downturn and avoiding labor disputes. The CLA advised that the first step in austerity measures should be to cut bonus payments to executives such as general managers, directors and supervisors. If that does not solve the problem, companies could reduce their employees’ work hours and pay, with the consent of the workers, but should not resort to layoffs, the CLA said. Any decision to adopt unpaid leave must be the result of negotiations with the individual workers and labor unions, and the periods of leave should not exceed three months, the CLA said.
No bomb found in threat
A South Korean man of Taiwanese descent who told check-in staff at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that he had a bomb in his luggage was detained and questioned by airport police yesterday at Taiwan’s main gateway. However, when police searched the 34-year-old tour guide’s luggage, they found no illegal or dangerous items in his belongings. The suspect allegedly made the bomb threat because he was dissatisfied with the efficiency of the check-in staff, airport staff said. The Aviation Police Office said travelers who make claims that threaten safety or disturb airport operations would face charges under the Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法).
Taiwan climate risk ranked
Taiwan was placed 44th among more than 190 countries in next year’s Global Climate Risk Index, which was published on Tuesday by Germanwatch, a Germany-based non--governmental organization devoted to promoting sustainable development. The ranking indicated Taiwan was among the top 25 percent of the studied countries that were affected by extreme weather such as flooding and storms last year and during the past 20 years. It is the seventh year Germanwatch has issued the index, which analyzes the quantified impacts of extreme weather events, including tropical storms, winter storms, severe weather, hail, tornadoes and localized storms based on data from Munich Re NatCatService — one of the world’s leading databases on the issue.
Sponsorship letter issued
Starting yesterday and running through Dec. 20, the National Youth Commission (NYC) will issue proof of sponsorship for UK working holiday visa program applicants, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman James Chang (章計平) said. The UK-Taiwan working holiday program is to take effect on Jan. 1, but applicants need to obtain proof of sponsorship before applying for the visa at the British Trade and Cultural Office in Taiwan, Chang said yesterday, adding that the British office would process working holiday visa applications starting on Jan. 3. The quota for UK-Taiwan working holiday visas is set at 1,000 annually, allowing Taiwanese between the ages of 18 and 34 to work and live in the UK for two years, Chang said. This could help young people gain a deeper understanding of English culture and broaden their horizons, he said. The UK is the seventh country to sign a working holiday program with Taiwan.