Thu, May 23, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Taipei to fine ERA Communications over mass layoffs

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Taipei City’s Department of Labor is planning to fine ERA Communications Inc NT$100,000 (US$3,350) for violating labor laws over mass layoffs at Next TV Broadcasting, the department said yesterday.

The department launched an investigation into the layoff plan on May 2 after it received a notice from ERA Communications that it planned to fire 280 of the TV station’s 700 employees.

A division chief at the department, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed yesterday that the probe found that ERA Communications had violated the Act on the Protection Against Mass Dismissal of Employees (大量解僱勞工保護法), which stipulates that a company with between 200 and 500 workers must give at least 60 days notice if it plans to fire more than a fourth of its employees over a three-month period, or sack more than 50 workers in one day.

Violators of the act can be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000.

ERA Communications started the first of six phases of layoffs on May 10, but failed to inform the department about the move in due time, he said.

The layoffs are set to conclude on July 31, the company’s notice to the labor department said.

The department said ERA Communications did not violate the Employment Service Act (就業服務法), which stipulates that an employer should inform the department about plans to layoff staff 10 days in advance.

The company followed the regulations and reported the first phase of planned layoffs on Tuesday.

The department’s Employment Services Office held a forum on employment resources with laid-off employees from Next TV yesterday to assist them with their future employment plans.

A total of 39 laid-off former Next TV workers aged between 30 and 39 attended the forum, the office said.

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