Firm backtracked on severance: laid-off workers
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Laid-off textile workers from the Lilytex Group (立益紡織集團) protested outside the Ministry of Labor on Tuesday, accusing the firm of backtracking on a promise to pay workers severance above the legal minimum.
The local textile manufacturer abruptly shut operations in late March, leaving its 28 workers unemployed, Hsu Tong-guei (徐同溎), director of the company's labor union, said on Tuesday.
Some of the senior workers were two months away from retirement, Hsu said, and had now lost approximately NT$300,000 in retirement benefits.
Hsu said that the company had been shutting down its textile factories for several years now and that the protests on Tuesday were by the company's remaining employees.
Hsu added that the firm had not given the workers the statutory 60-days notice of the factory's closure. "We did everything the boss asked for but we weren't even informed that the factory was closing down."
Hsu claimed that the laid-off workers had even received lower compensation than employers dismissed earlier.
Approximately 30 demonstrators, including union members and supporters from labor rights groups, marched from the company's Taipei headquarters to the Ministry of Labor, with minor scuffles between police and protesters.
Three workers had been on hunger strike for over 100 hours as of Tuesday morning, Hsu said.
Company Violated Labor Law
The ministry's Department of Employment Relations (勞動關係司) director, Wang Ho-wei (王厚偉), told press inside the ministry building on Tuesday that Lilytex had violated the Labor Standards Act after the firm failed to submit a report regarding its mass redundancy 60 days prior to the action.
The company could face an up-to NT$500,000 fine, which will be handed down by the Taoyuan City Government's labor department.
Wang also promised to make sure that the company's management would attend a labor negotiation meeting arranged by the local government this Sunday.
Taoyuan City Confederation of Trade Unions (桃園市產業總工會) Yao Kuang-chu (姚光祖) said that Lilytex's management had promised its last 28 workers that they would receive better severance packages than required by the law, but was now offering only the legal minimum.