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Trade union reports higher furlough number than government figure

Trade union reports higher furlough number than government figure

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) A high-tech workers' union reported a much higher furlough number than the government's official figure Monday and petitioned labor affairs officials to address the issue. Urging workers to join trade unions, the Trade Union of Electrical, Electronic and Information Workers in Taiwan (TUEEIWT) sent a list of the 63 companies it said have imposed furloughs on their workers to Huang Wei-chen, section chief of the CLA's department of working conditions. TUEEIWT Secretary-General Lin Ming-che said that according to its most recent data, a total of 33,000 employees from the 63 enterprises have been given unpaid leave. The number is in stark contrast to the official number from the council of just 2,801 people from 12 enterprises, Lin added. Lin said the gap is more a result of employers trying to cover up the actual number than workers giving false accounts, adding that it is the government's responsibility to check and confirm the numbers. The TUEEIWT called on employees to form or join trade unions to gain more of an equal footing in negotiations with management. It also urged the CLA to set up and promote a special hotline for workers to report any irregularities regarding their employers. In response, Huang said the council will ask local labor authorities to check the enterprises on the list to confirm whether furloughs have been implemented, and will publish the finalized results Nov. 16. If the enterprises are confirmed to have given workers unpaid leave illegally, they will face maximum fines of NT$300,000 (US$9,961), while serious offenders will be named and shamed, said Huang. Under current regulations, companies can only implement furloughs in the case of financial losses and with workers' consent following negotiations between employees and employers, and on condition that workers' monthly incomes are no less than the national minimum wage of NT$17,880. As for the gap between the TUEEIWT figures and the official numbers, Huang attributed the difference to the time the government needs for confirmation, as well as the fact that results are published on the first and 16th day of each month. He said the council will continue to monitor furloughs and will ask local authorities to promptly investigate the situation upon receiving reports from the media, trade unions and the special employee complaint hotline. (By Zoe Wei and Scully Hsiao)


Updated : 2021-05-09 13:08 GMT+08:00