Monday, April 26, 2010

[olympiaworkers] Taiwanese workers protest dismissals Apr 25 2010

Workers at Young Fast Optoelectronics (YFO) in Taiwan have urgently
requested solidarity actions for their struggle to defend their union and
basic labor rights against the company's union-busting actions and the
Taiwanese government's negligence of the law.

YFO is a Taiwan-based producer of touch-sensor used on high-end mobile
phones such as iPhone. It is a major supplier to brand names such as
Samsung, LG, HTC, Qualcomm and so on. Google is to become the major buyer
of YFO products through subcontracting the manufacturing of Google Phone
to HTC and Qualcomm. YFO has three plants in Guangdong, China, one in
Hanoi, Vietnam, and one in Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, and a combined workforce of
more than 10 thousand.

Working conditions for the 1,300 workers at YFO Taoyuan Plant is worse
than most people expected. Aside from low wages, high work intensity,
forced overtime without pay, and poor health and safety conditions that is
becoming rampant in the so-called high-tech industries today, YFO also
hired 200 migrant workers and 400 high school "interns" (some of them are
below the age of 16, which is the legal criteria of child labor in Taiwan)
and pay them less than the legal minimum wage. And this happened despite
the fact that YFO has posted a record-high profit last year.

Workers duly organized a trade union, Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade
Union, or YFOTU, in December 2009 to address their problems. The
management promptly dismissed five union officers and more than ten active
union members in March 2010, under the pretense that their production line
will be moved to China. Trade unionists in Taiwan believe that this is a
deliberate union-busting action and gross violation of the Labor Union

Workers in the YFOTU and National Federation of Independent Trade Unions
(NAFITU), which YFOTU is affiliated with, have waged a campaign since the
illegal dismissal. Aside from the negligence of government in enforcing
labor laws in Taiwan, YFOTU and NAFITU especially stress the negligence of
the brand name companies in enforcing their Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) standards. HTC, the fast expanding Taiwan brand name,
is especially under fierce protest.

HTC itself, on the other hand, has commercial cooperation with many
well-known telecom corporations which sell its mobile phones: Vodafone,
Verizon, Chunghwa Telecom, and Taiwan Mobile are just among the top of

The demands of YFOTU and NAFITU are:
1. Reinstate the illegally-dismissed union officers and members;
2. Resolve labor dispute through dialogue with YFOTU and NAFITU;
3. The government shall form a joint-committee from different ministries
and take thorough investigation about the working conditions and labor
rights abuses, and prevent repetition of labor rights abuse in YFO.

What you can do to help:
1. Sign our petition and send back to us.
2. Sign the on-line campaign on LabourStart
3. Write to the management of Samsung, LG, HTC, Google, Qualcomm,
Vodafone, Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile to pressure, telling them to
set up code of conducts for their suppliers (if they don't have it at all)
according to the International Core Labor Standards advocated by ILO, and
to monitor and demand YFO to reinstate the union officers and members, to
obey the suppliers' code of conducts (if they have it) and the local laws;
4. Write to the Taiwan government to protest and demand a thorough
investigation on YFO and enforce the law[1];
5. Distribute this mail to your affiliates, members and friends, encourage
them to write to pressure;
6. Cooperate with us in our future actions that might need your solidarity
and assistance;
7. Any other ways that could help us for this campaign.

For more information on how to support these workers, see the China Worker

No comments: