Taiwan Broadcasting System (TBS) temporary staff yesterday protested the group’s policy of using large numbers of them to fill vacancies and called on chairman Shao Yu-ming (邵玉銘) to honor his promise to officially place them on the payroll.
“According to human resources regulations at the company, temporary workers should only fill seasonal, project-oriented and non-core vacancies, but what’s really happening is just the opposite,” said Hsu Chung-fong (許純鳳), a program production crew member at Public Television Service (PTS) — a member of TBS — and a representative of the TBS Dispatch Workers’ Union. “There are some people who have been ‘temporary workers’ for seven or eight years, they have passed interviews by TBS management, so essentially, we are no different from official employees of the company, but this difference in status has barred us from enjoying higher salaries, promotions or company benefits.”
“We are, basically, second-class employees,” she added.
According to figures released by the union, as many as 200, about a fifth, of TBS staff are temporary employees.
While official employees of TBS are entitled to salary raises in accordance with their performance, performance evaluations have no impact on temporary workers’ salaries and they may lose their job if their performance is not considered to be good enough.
“When we [the union] met with Shao in September, he clearly stated that TBS should not use so many temporary workers, that he would launch a thorough assessment of the employment situation within the group and turn temporary workers into official employees,” Hsu said.
She said the results of the assessment are scheduled to be released by the end of the year.
“It’s already November, we don’t know what will happen to us and most of us are very anxious,” she said.
“We call on TBS to explain to all its employees how the assessment is proceeding and create a fair employment assessment system,” Hsu said. “It would be unacceptable if they declare that all temporary workers are to be fired.”
At the same press conference, media reform groups also criticized the process through which PTS made the decision to allow its chief executive Kuang Hsiang-hsia (曠湘霞) to serve a second term last month as “non-transparent,” and asked the TV station to involve more public participation and discussion before making such decisions in the future.