Sat, May 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Union officials accused of sexual assault

SYSTEMIC:A woman, identified only as ‘Ms B,’ said that TCTU executives established a ‘harem culture’ at the organization, where women and men were ranked by hierarchy

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Several officials from the Taoyuan Confederation of Trade Unions (TCTU) were on Sunday accused of sexually assaulting women working at the organization.

The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office has launched an investigation into the accusations against TCTU secretary-general Yao Kuang-chu (姚光祖) and other union officials, who were not named.

A woman, known only as “Ms B,” made the accusations ahead of Workers’ Day demonstrations.

She said she had to quit her job at the TCTU’s office in Taoyuan after being sexually harassed by top officials, including Yao.

The woman said Yao used his position to harass female employees and seduce them into having sex with him.

Some union members posted messages on social media calling for a boycott of the Workers’ Day rally, saying Yao and the TCTU ignored calls for an internal investigation and tried to cover up the incident.

“During the year that I worked at the TCTU, I was sexual harassed in the first six months and sexually assaulted in the next six months. The assaults were carried out by more than one man and there were other victims as well,” the woman said.

She accused TCTU executives of establishing a “harem culture” at the organization, where “men and women were ranked by hierarchy, with higher executives having more power, and women being used according to their rank.”

Yao has released a statement saying he is taking leave from work for an indefinite period and will not carry out the secretary-general’s duties for the time being.

He said he had a relationship with “Ms B,” but denied that he sexually assaulted her.

“Through our past interactions, we had a close relationship. Maybe I made mistakes throughout this process, but I disagree with her charges of sexual assault,” Yao said.

“If the charges are true, it will cause great harm to the labor union movement ... the labor union movement must make reforms, and establish mechanisms to arbitrate on disciplinary measures and relationships between men and women. If the TCTU does not reform and continues this way, it will lose credibility and will be ruined,” former TCTU president Mao Chen-fei (毛振飛) said yesterday.

TCTU is one of the leading organizations in the nation’s labor rights movement and took part in a strike by China Airlines flight attendants last year.

The strike was led by the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union, a subsidiary of the TCTU, and won concessions from the airline for improved working conditions and higher wages for flight attendants.

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