1. The earnings of YFO:
YFO is earning tremendously. In the year 2009, the revenue of Young Fast is $4.02 billion, and the margin is 35.5%; its stock price has once rushed to over NT$500 (approximately $15.68) per share, operating margins NT$4.925 billion (approximately $154.48 million) and NT$22.53 (approximately $0.7) as full-year earnings per share in the year of 2009; it has been called the “king among the touch panels” in Taiwan. Because of the tremendous earnings, the board of YFO agree for NT10 ($0.31) per share cash dividend which amounting to NT1.33 billion ($41.718 million) in the same year.
2. The exploitive working conditions in YFO:
a. Overtime work is excessive: overtime working hour is up to 100 hours a month, and sometimes workers are denied a holiday in a week.
b. Child labors are hired and abused: student workers are employed as de facto workers in name of internship, some of them are under 16, and they have to work for as long as the adult workers. In other words, child labor is employed in the factory, and the vio-lation has been proved and penalized by the local labor administration, and has been investigated by the public prosecutor in mid-April.
c. Deduction of overtime wages: according to Labor Standard Law, overtime wages should be calculated on the basis of the salary of each month. Instead, YFO pays the overtime wages on the basis of the basic wage, which makes a large deficiency on the salaries for all workers every month.
d. Forced labor is also suspected: refusal for working overtime would result as the de-ductions on salaries and threats to be fired. Afraid of losing the job, most workers are almost always forced to accept the overtime demand by the management.
3. The union-busting actions by YFO:
a. Transfer the union officers: from the establishment of the Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade Union (YFOTU) on December 2009, YFO had once transferred three officers to the cleaning unit from the production line. It was stopped only when the local labor administration intervened.
b. Dismiss the union officers and members illegally: On March 12, 2010, the manage-ment of YFO dismissed 5 of the union officers and more than 10 members illegally altogether in the fabricated excuse of "the business suffers an operating loss or con-traction; a change in business nature requires a reduction of workers and the particular workers cannot be assigned to another suitable position; and a particular worker is clearly not able to perform the duties required of the position held", which is just a du-plication of part of Article 11 from the Labor Standard Law which permits the em-ployer to dismiss the employees legally; apparently, they are only pretense and are to-tally groundless. It is clear that YFO tries to eliminate the newly-born union by dis-missing its officers and members illegally. It is clear that YFO tries to eliminate the newly-born union by dismissing its officers and members illegally.
4. List of Illegalities at Young Fast Optoelectronics:
What the Government Shall Do
Dismissal of the union members illegally.
Article 35, Labor Union Law.
Subject to criminal trial and fines.
Article 5, Employment Services Act.
consecutive fine of no less than NT$30,000
and no more than NT$1,500,000
Article 11, Labor Standards Law.
Official Announcement that the dismissal
was unlawful and invalid.
Dismissal of local workers illegally while
recruiting migrant ones.
Article 42 & 47, Employment Services Act.
The migrant workers should be transferred
to other employers, according to Article 54 of the same Act.
Owing overtime wages
Article 24, Labor Standards Law.
Consecutive fine of NT$20,000 until the
Using a lower standard for labor insurance
Article 14 & others, Labor Insurance Act.
for double the sum of premium, since the violation took effect.
Assist the workers to be compensated by the employer.
government shall transfer the case initiatively to be investigated by the
Prosecutors’ Office as fraud and forgery are involved.
Short in the payment of the Labor Pension
Fund contribution by the employer.
Article 14, Labor Pension Act.
government shall transfer the case to the court to enforce the employer to
make up the full amount of the contribution.
employer must pay the delay penalties.
Consecutive fine to the employer until the situation improves.
Excessive overtime hours as many as more
than 100 hours per month.
Article 32, Labor Standards Law.
Consecutive fine of NT$20,000 until the
Article 5, Labor Standards Law.
Imprisonment of under 5 years or fine
under NT$ 50,000.
Excessive overtime for interns
Article 5, Regulations for Cooperative
Education of Vocational High schools.
Suspension of the cooperation according to
Article 12 or the same regulation.
No re-election for the employees' welfare
Article 5, Employees' Welfare Funds Act.
The government can order a re-election.
Over-time work for child labors under 16
The government shall transfer the case
initiatively to be investigated by the Prosecutors’ Office.
5. Legal procedures:
YFOTU and National Federation of Independent Trade Unions (NAFITU) have done the following legal procedures to ask the government to intervene and investigate the workers:
a. Labor dispute settlement: YFUTO and NAFITU has applied for the labor dispute set-tlement regarding the overtime wages and the illegal dismissal for their members in the local labor administration. Regrettably, all the settlement meetings were failed un-til now, and YFO never surrendered and promised to obey the laws.
b. Reporting the illegalities: YFOTU and NAFITU has reported the illegalities such as the excessive overtime hours, the deduction on overtime wages, the abuse of child la-bors to the Council of Labor Affairs (or CLA, the labor ministry in Taiwan) and the Ministry of Education. After the illegalities were proved by the government, the quota for applying for more migrant workers in YFO was frozen, and most of the interns were called back to school.
6. YFO’s commercial relations:
We sum up three types of commercial relations for YFO; in a word, YFO is a supplier for all of the brand names mentioned below:
a. Manufacturing: brand names of mobile phones: YFO got the bills from Samsung, LG and HTC; among them, Samsung is a member of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (or EICC), and HTC doesn’t even have a code of conduct at all;
b. Joint-brands and technology: HTC has cooperative projects with Google for manufac-turing mobile phones and with Qualcomm for its technologies;
c. Selling distributing: HTC has cooperated with telecom corporations such as Vodafone in Britain, Verizone in the United States, Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile in Taiwan.
7. Replies from the brand names:
We only have the feedback from HTC until now:
a. HTC: HTC has nothing to do with YFO workers and that the latter were hired by a supplier of one of its suppliers (by Cher Wang, Chairperson of HTC), and that HTC "would not intervene in the inner management of other companies"(by Peter Chou, the CEO of HTC).
8. Other possible developments:
As the quota for applying for more migrant workers has been temporarily frozen, and most of the interns have been called back to their schools in YFO, there might be a shortage of labor force, which would probably force YFO to transfer the workload from the plant in Taiwan to those in China. It would likely increase the labor intensity for the workers in China.
9. References of articles and reports:
a. YFOTU’s blog (Most of its contents are in Chinese while some in English).
b. An English report by YFOTU regarding the protest to HTC on April 2: Shocked by YFO Workers Twice A Day, HTC Still Doesn't Mind the Labor Condition of Its Sup-plier.
c. An English report from a website of technological news regarding the protest to HTC on April 2: HTC launch gate crashed by supplier union.
d. English version of the open letter to Ms. Cher Wang, Chairperson of HTC: Be the Salt and Light for Workers: An Open letter to Cher Wang, HTC Chairperson
e. Two English reports regarding the proved child labor abuse in YFO:
i. Young Fast Optical hired underaged workers: CLA
ii. Young Fast accepts fines for labor violation
10. References of photos regarding the campaigns of YFOTU and NAFITU: