Time: 8:00PM,March 27, 2010
Venue: Entry zone on Terminal 1, Taoyuan International Airport(No. 9, Hangzhan S. Rd., Dayuan Township, Taoyuan County)
International Contact Person: Weili Chu, Executive Officer, NAFITU: 0981-238732, Ying-Dah Wong, YFOTU Supporting Alliance: 0933-908994
NAFITU, Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade Union (YFOTU) and other labor organizations welcome President Ma who would come back to Taiwan on the evening of March 27th after his diplomatic trip the South Pacific countries by petitioning “save the workers first in the cross-strait cooperation”, “let the workers monitor ECFA democratically prior to the debate with DPP. Labor groups demand to add an article in ECFA: ban the businesses which exploit the workers to invest in China and other countries!
The mobile phone President Ma gave as a present to Chief Stanley Tabeva in the Solomand Islands is made by Taiwan workers who survive in a sweatshop labor condition. Young Fast Optoelectronics (hereinafter referred as YFO) in Taoyuan County, Taiwan, the biggest touch panel manufacturer in the world, has a large number of orders from HTC. YFO, who has around 1,000 workers in Taiwan and around 3,000 in China and Vietnam, has once rushed to over NT$500 (approximately $15.68) per share in the stock market, operating margins NT$4.925 billion (approximately $154.48 million) and NT$22.53 (approximately $0.7) full-year earnings per share in the year of 2009. Because of the tremendous earnings, the board agree for NT10 ($0.31) per share cash dividend which amounting to NT1.33 billion ($41.718 million) in the same year.
Beyond the stunning profit and the luxury “pride of Taiwan” mobile phones is a miserable labor condition. YFO calculate the overtime illegally and pay less overtime for several thousands NT dollars per month for every worker, so the workers in YFO work overtime for more than 100 hours and earn only roughly NT30,000 ($941) per month. YSO is also suspected to lower the amount of labor and health insurance and hire a large amount of migrant workers and child labor younger than 16 in the name of “interns”.
The workers struggle to established a trade union on December, 2009, but YFO sabotaged the union by transferring a production line to China and dismissed 5 union cadres and more than 10 members altogether. It is a severe anti-worker, anti-union unfair labor practice and violation to the labor laws which undermines the rights to organize of the workers.
The South Pacific tour “Tai-Yi Project” of President Ma has been praised as a success of the “flexible diplomacy” policy which promotes more positive interaction with China by foreign press. Workers in Taiwan would like to ask in tears: “Where is our flexibility?”
The management of YFO even states in front of the local labor officers that “we can’t be graceful to the union; if the government interferes too much, YFO would move out and invest in China and abroad!” How would such a company which see the laws as nothing obey the laws when it invest in other countries? Just take the tragedy of Liu Hanhuang who suffered from occupational injury before he killed two Taiwanese businessmen as an example: the illegal Taiwan business investing abroad would not only shame the Taiwanese, it would also ruin the cross-strait relations and produce social problems and tragedies. President Ma has been encouraging the people to support ECFA, but would he be happy to see the anti-union companies running to China freely as a result of ECFA?
YFO has triggered a general anger among the workers in Taiwan. Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade Union (YFOTU), National Federation of Free and Independent Trade Unions (NAFITU) and other labor organizations welcome President Ma who would come back to Taiwan at 8 pm, March 27th and demand as follows:
1. Democratic monitor of ECFA by the workers: the illegal companies who exploit the workers shall be banned to invest abroad, and the justice system shall help to take back the loss of rights and welfares of the workers of both sides of the strait.
2. Building a cross-ministry committee: reinstate all the workers who were dismissed illegally and sanction the bad companies!
United organizations for this action: National Federation of Free and Independent Trade Unions (NAFITU), Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade Union (YFOTU).