Representatives of a public television temporary workers’ union yesterday accused the government of leading the way in creating an environment where both the public and private sectors “exploit workers through the use of outsourcing contracts.”
“There are more than 200 temporary workers” at Taiwan Broadcasting System (TBS), accounting for 20 percent of its workforce, Hsu Chung-fong (許純鳳), a representative of the TBS Dispatch Workers’ Union, said at a press conference in Taipei.
TBS network, which includes the Taiwan Public Television Service (公共電視), Hakka Television Service (客家台), Taiwan Indigenous Television (原民台) and Chinese Television Service (華視), was supposed to only outsource jobs related to supporting staff functions in the planning section or other sections outside of TBS’ core departments, according to TBS’ management regulations on temporary workers, Hsu said.
“However, in most cases, TBS hires temporary workers for jobs such as journalists, TV broadcasting anchors, assistant program directors, production assistants, animators, administrative staff and other regular television network positions,” Hsu said.
“This is a clear violation of TBS’ own management regulations on contract workers,” she said.
Since these 200 workers were hired on a different basis from regular employees, it has created an unfair situation, with people doing the same work for lower pay.
“Moreover, temporary workers cannot seek promotions or a pay raise,” she said, adding that they are not eligible for incentives such as “lottery drawings for an employee parking space.”
Outsourcing is just a pretext for the exploitation of workers, she added.
Liu Chang-de (劉昌德), an associate professor at National Chengchi University’s College of Communication, lent his support to Hsu’s contention.
“TBS says its principle is to give voice to the weak and underprivileged in society, but it is doing the opposite by exploiting its workers,” Liu said.
In response, TBS chairman Shao Yu-ming (邵玉銘) said after a board meeting that the board had decided to create an ad hoc panel to work on “normalizing conditions for temporary workers.”
One-on-one meetings with 157 TBS temporary employees will take place over the next three months, Shao said.
“The wages of temporary employees will remain the same until March next year. After three months of negotiation between the two sides, adjustments will be made to their wage scale and other benefits,” he added.
Additional reporting by Lin Yi-ju