TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Management and staff at the Yuan Shan Club of Kaohsiung agreed Tuesday that all 108 employees threatened with layoffs would find new jobs at the Kaohsiung Grand Hotel with a 10 percent wage cut.
The agreement followed mediation by Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng after weeks of protests by staff.
The club, which is managed by the Grand Hotel, sent notices of the layoffs on December 11, promising at the time to reinstate employees at the hotel next March. The decision touched off a wave of fierce protests, with staff blocking the entrance to the Kaohsiung hotel last Saturday.
Representatives of both sides in the dispute visited the Legislative Yuan Tuesday for talks with Wang, who hails from Kaohsiung County.
The negotiations resulted in an agreement to withdraw all layoffs before the end of the year, in effect on Wednesday. The employees will be listed as staff of the Grand Hotel beginning January 1, but in return they are willing to accept a 10 percent pay cut. When the hotel eventually returns to profitability, the employees will see their full salary restored, management said.
The agreement also stipulated that all staff must accept retraining.
At the news conference announcing the end of the dispute, representatives of both sides embraced for the cameras, belying the bitterness of the past labor conflict. During the protests, Transportation Minister Mao Chi-kuo and Grand Hotel chairman Chang Hsueh-lao accused staff of being responsible for the club’s NT$500 million losses. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is a major shareholder in the group.
The club included tennis and squash courts, an Olympic swimming pool, a sauna and a gymnasium.
The threats of layoffs came amid rising unemployment, with the number of people looking for work crossing the 500,000 mark in November according to government statistics.