(This is a model letter for any individual or organization who is willing to write to the targets of our protest.)
To Whom It May Concerned,
We are deeply concerned about the working conditions at Young Fast Optoelectronics (YFO), which is a supplier to Samsung, LG, HTC, Google, Qualcomm, Vodafone, Verizon, Chunhwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile, and we are writing to request your corporation to look into the case and establish a code of conduct which upholds labor rights at your supplier.
We were informed by Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade Union (YFOTU) and National Federation of Independent Trade Unions (NAFITU) that severe labor rights violations occurred at YFO, including:
1. Student workers are employed as de facto workers in name of internship; some of them are younger than 16 years old. In other words, child labor is employed YFO. Not only that, the child labors were demanded to work for as long as the adult workers, which is already proved to be a violation of the Taiwan law and has been penalized by Taiwan Government;
2. Deduction of overtime pay is found in the factory. According to local law, overtime pay should be calculated on the basis of the salary of each month. Instead, YFO pays the overtime pay on the basis of the basic wage, which has made tremendous loss on workers’ salaries every month;
3. Overtime work is excessive. Working hour is up to 100 hours per month, and sometimes workers are denied a holiday in a week. Refusal for working overtime would often result as the deductions on salaries and threats to be fired. It is not only highly suspected an abuse of child labors, it is even suspected to be a violation of forced labor.
The workers in YFO established YFOTU in December 2009. Since then, YFOTU has been demanding the factory to rectify the labor rights violations. Outrageously, five officers and more than ten members of YFOTU were retaliated and dismissed illegally due to their legal campaign. It is evidently a violation to the freedom of association to the Taiwan law and the International Core Labor Standards.
As advocated by the Code of Conduct of Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the standards of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), it is obligatory for your corporation to ensure your suppliers to implement the standards stipulated in EICC Code of Conduct. Regrettably, the standards like working hours, wages, freedom of association and prohibition of child labor are not implemented.
It is thus obligatory for your corporation to adopt a Suppliers’ Code of Conduct and monitor your suppliers to follow the Code to ensure the working conditions at your suppliers.
Even though your corporation is one of the leading corporate in terms of technology development, it lags behind other brands in terms of corporate social responsibility as the working conditions in YFO was exposed to the public. We urge your corporation to create a Suppliers’ Code of Conduct in line with EICC Code and Core Labor Standards advocated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Global Union Federations (GUFs) and to monitor your suppliers to follow the Code to ensure the working conditions at your suppliers.
In support of YFOTU and NAFITU, we further demand your corporation to communicate with YFO with the aim to:
1. Reinstate the dismissed union officers and members;
2. Resolve labor dispute through dialogue with YFOTU and NAFITU;
3. Monitor the labor rights and working conditions, prevent repetition of labor rights abuse in YFO.
Furthermore, we are deeply concerned about the negligence of the Taiwan Government on protecting the workers in YFO and enforcing the labor laws. We strongly urge the Taiwan Government to:
1. Make a thorough investigation on the total working conditions in YFO;
2. Take concrete actions against the illegalities and to protect the workers in YFO and all parts of Taiwan for their labor rights and working conditions in an effective way.
Looking forward to hear favorable response from your corporation soon.