Businesses across Taiwan are scrambling to figure out how to return to work safely following a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections over the weekend, as the Centers for Disease Control guidelines call for companies to consider allowing their employees to telecommute.
Contract electronics maker Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) said employees who live in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), and New Taipei City’s Banciao (板橋) and Lujhou (蘆州) districts would work from home for a week while other staff would work at the office.
Pegatron Corp (和碩), another contract electronics manufacturer which reported that one of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19, said it would divide employees into three groups to work in staggered shifts.
Semiconductors MediaTek Inc (聯發科) and Macronix International Co (旺宏) said they have requested employees who live in Taipei and New Taipei City to work remotely and in rotating shifts at the their Hsinchu offices and factories.
“As the pandemic alert has been raised to level 3, the company has upgraded its pandemic countermeasures again,” Macronix said in a statement. “Employees commuting between Taipei or New Taipei City [and Hsinchu] should work from home.”
Factory workers are divided into shifts that would rotate, Macronix said.
Non-essential visitors and suppliers are prohibited from entering the company premises, it said.
To reduce unnecessary movement, most business travel has been suspended and videoconferences would replace face-to-face meetings, it added.
MediaTek also announced similar measures to safeguard employees’ health and the company’s operations, with about 1,000 employees from 27 sites worldwide working remotely, it said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) said it would divide its workers into separate teams to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.
All non-essential vendors would be restricted from entering its facilities, it said in a statement.
TSMC employees and vendors with long-term ID badges must avoid moving across the Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan sites, the chipmaker said.
Cross-site and Hsinchu site shuttle buses have been canceled, but commuter shuttle buses and Taichung and Tainan site shuttle buses would operate according to the planned separation of working areas and movement flows, it said.
Lloyd Roberts, who works at the Taipei office of the international law firm Eiger, said the transition to working from home has been seamless.
“They have spent a lot of time and money to make sure we have the best videoconferencing,” Roberts said. “We were already well-equipped before the pandemic, so we have been able to ease into it without a hitch.”
Outside the greater Taipei area, where most of the cases are, work seems to be less affected.
“Outside Taipei, it is business as usual,” said Manual Zehr, a consultant with Formosa Business Support, a consultancy for the offshore wind farm industry. “Crews are recruiting, training and operating.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs confirmed that an employee tested positive and had come into contact with five colleagues, prompting the ministry to divide its staff across two zones to work separately.
FIRST STEP: Business groups in Taiwan welcomed the deal, which does not include tariff reductions at this stage, as they called for the elimination of double taxation Taiwan and the US yesterday signed an initial agreement under the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. The agreement was signed yesterday morning by Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Managing Director Ingrid Larson in Washington, the Office of Trade Negotiations in Taipei said. The ceremony was witnessed by Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) and Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. Taiwan and the US started talks under the initiative in August last year, after Taipei was left out of the Washington-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. “The deal that will be signed tonight is not only very historic,
Beijing yesterday blamed US “provocation” for an incident last week in which a Chinese plane crossed in front of a US surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea. The incident came at a time of frayed ties between Washington and Beijing over issues including Taiwan and the shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew over the US this year. “The United States’ long-term and frequent sending of ships and planes to conduct close surveillance on China seriously harms China’s national sovereignty and security,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning (毛寧) said when asked about the latest incident. “This
‘GLOBAL NETWORK’: The only way to deter a Chinese invasion is for the international community to unite in its resolve, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roy Lee said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roy Lee (李淳) yesterday urged democratic nations around the world to not let Beijing dictate the definition of their “one China” policies, saying that they should increase cooperation with Taiwan to build a resilient democratic network. Lee made the remarks during his speech, titled “Ukraine and Taiwan: Why Global Unity Matters,” at the annual Bratislava Forum in Slovakia. “People in Taiwan have been paying close attention to the situation in Ukraine and admire Ukrainians for defending their homeland. They are [also] fighting for Taiwan and democratic countries around the world,” Lee told forum participants. “The international
HARD-WON FREEDOM: Beijing’s 1989 crackdown on protesters has not been and should not be forgotten, as China tightens its grip on Hong Kong, Lai said Taiwanese enjoy democracy and freedom and have multiple ways to express their creativity, and hopefully young people in China would also one day have the freedom to sing and express themselves, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Yesterday was the 34th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s bloody crackdown on student-led protests in Beijing in 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident. Tsai posted a photograph taken in March in a subway station in Guizhou, China, where hundreds of young people gathered to sing People With No Ideals Don’t Get Hurt (沒有理想的人不傷心), saying that they