Sat, Feb 18, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Ex-fireman urges repeal of dismissal

POLITICAL CONNECTION:Labor rights advocates have taken up Hsu’s case, saying that he was dismissed after he helped to organize two rallies for firefighters’ rights

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Former Kaohsiung firefighter Hsu Kuo-yao (徐國堯) on Thursday called for the Control Yuan to overturn his dismissal, saying demerit irregularities showed that the Kaohsiung City Government’s actions were retaliation for his labor rights advocacy.

“We hope that the Control Yuan will overturn the Civil Service Protection and Training Commission’s ruling [upholding the dismissal] and investigate procedural flaws, regardless of whether it upholds individual demerits,” said Hsu, whose case sparked a protest by labor rights advocates outside the Control Yuan last week.

Since his dismissal in 2014, Hsu’s case has been championed by labor rights advocates, who have said the dismissal was linked to his role in coordinating two protest marches for firefighters’ rights.

However, his case has suffered repeated setbacks in administrative courts, which have repeatedly rejected his appeals.

“After I was dismissed, we were told we could only appeal to the administrative courts, but after filing a suit we have essentially been told that this is not a matter within their jurisdiction,” Hsu said, adding that the courts should intervene because of allegations of political motivation behind his dismissal.

“I worked for 17 years and never received a demerit or warning, but suddenly I received 43 in just two months, more than half of which were later overturned,” he said.

All of the demerits were for previous events and actions, Hsu said, citing failure to attend a training session while on leave as an example.

At the time, his supervisor had allowed him to make up the training session without any disciplinary action, but a later supervisor brought up the event more than a year later, he added.

“If they had chosen to take action at the time, there was really nothing I could say, but you cannot accumulate incidents to handle at a later time,” Hsu said, adding that demerits and warnings were supposed to be zeroed out every year.

“They will claim that discipline was meted out for all these events in such a short time because that was when they were reported, but that is highly suspicious,” he said.

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