The decade-long legal battle between Radio Corp of America (RCA) and its former employees is expected to continue, as both parties intend to appeal the latest ruling on the case.
The Legal Aid Foundation yesterday urged former employees to join the RCA Self-Help Association’s campaign to demand compensation for occupational diseases.
Although the Taipei District Court ruled that RCA should provide NT$560 million (US$18.2 million) in compensation to the workers in a landmark verdict last month, RCA has been adamant in its refusal to provide compensation, while former employees have criticized the ruling for being too lenient — they originally sued for NT$2.7 billion.
Last month’s ruling found RCA responsible for exposing employees to toxic organic solvents such as trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, which can increase risks of cancer.
The RCA Self-Help Association, which has 519 members, said that the company should be held responsible for more than 1,300 cases of cancer diagnosed among former RCA employees after the company shut down in 1992.
Legal Aid Foundation executive-secretary Chen Wei-hsiang (陳維祥) said that more than 8,000 people worked at RCA’s Taoyuan plant during its operation between 1970 and 1992.
He said that former employees are eligible to participate in the association and upcoming legal action as long as they sign up before June 19 through the foundation’s special hotlines for the case: (03) 336-9885 and (03) 336-7791.
Association president Liu Ho-yun (劉荷雲) said that the group has received 100 to 200 calls per day since the court ruling was announced last month.
“Anybody who is willing to come forward is a hero,” she said, urging all former workers to join the cause.
She said many new members of the association are cancer patients, including a former female employee living in Yunlin who is suffering from stage IV lung adenocarcinoma.
Ministry of Labor Department of Labor Relations Director Wang Hou-wei (王厚偉) said the ministry is to provide financial assistance to the workers for legal expenses through a special fund.
He urged RCA not to shirk its corporate social responsibility and engage the workers in dialogue.
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