Smartphone maker HTC Corp has co-opted the company’s unions, campaigners from the Taoyuan Confederation of Trade Unions said yesterday, accusing the unions of failing to protect workers’ rights in the face of company layoffs.
“The Taoyuan Department of Labor has no idea whether [the unions] are operating normally because they have not received any notification of board meetings, much less meeting agendas or minutes,” Taoyuan Confederation of Trade Unions chairman Chuang Fu-kai (莊福凱) said.
The Labor Union Act (工會法) requires unions to file meeting records and financial reports with their local labor department, he said.
Activists yesterday protested outside of HTC’s Taoyuan factory against the company’s decision to lay off 15 percent of its Taiwanese workforce, saying that the company had been profitable almost every year since 2005 and made NT$1.4 billion (US$42.73 million) in profits last year.
HTC had pressured workers to “voluntarily” resign to avoid paying severance pay, while requiring workers receiving severance pay to sign non-disclosure agreements, Chuang said, adding that when 30 workers sought union support to protect their rights, they were unable to get in touch with union representatives.
The unions also failed to initiate talks with management about the layoffs, as mandated by the Act for Worker Protection of Mass Redundancy (大量解僱勞工保護法), he said.
The chairman of one of the unions’ boards works as a lawyer for HTC, while the union membership fee of NT$5,000 is double that normally charged, Chuang said.
Because of the unions that currently exist, any new union organized by factory workers would not be eligible for official recognition, he said, adding that HTC must drop its “grip” on company unions.
Activists demanded a public explanation from the company unions about their response to the layoffs, and urged the unions to initiate talks with HTC management.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
LUCKY DATE: The man picked the 10th ‘Super Red Envelope’ in a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10 A man who recently broke up with his girlfriend won a NT$1 million (US$32,929) prize in the “NT$20 million Super Red Envelope” lottery after picking a card based on the date of their breakup, Taiwan Lottery Co said yesterday. The man, in his 20s, bought the 10th ticket at a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢), because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10, the store owner told the lottery company. The “Super Red Envelope” lottery was a limited offering by the company during the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended yesterday. The cards, which cost NT$2,000 each, came with
TOURISM BOOST: The transportation system could help attract more visitors to the area, as the line is to connect multiple cultural sites, a city councilor said Residents in New Taipei City’s Ankeng District (安坑) said the local light rail system might have a positive influence, but raised questions about its practicality. The Ankeng light rail system, which is to commence operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, would cut travel time for commuters from Ankeng to downtown Taipei or New Taipei City by 15 to 20 minutes, the city government said. According to the initial plan, there would be one train every 15 minutes during peak time and additional interval trains would run between the densely populated Ankang Station (安康) and Shisizhang Station (十 四張). To encourage people to
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the