--Request for Solidarity for YFOTU's Struggle for Basic Labor Rights
Dear Fellow Workers, Officers and Organizers in Trade Unions and other Civil Organizations:
Workers at Young Fast Optoelectronics (YFO) in Taiwan urgently request your 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. Please help us disseminate the information to those who you think fit, and join us in this struggle.
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 condition 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 Law.
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 them. These telecom brand names are responsible for the exploitive working conditions and union-busting management in YFO, too.
We hope that you can help us in this campaign by pressuring the Taiwanese government and all the buyers of YFO such as HTC, Samsung, LG, Google, Qualcomm, Vodafone, Verizone, Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile. We need you to tell them that violation of basic labor rights is not an acceptable business practice, and that we believe “injury to one is an injury to all.”
Also, there is a danger that YFO would transfer the workloads from the plant in Taiwan to those in China, we urge your attention to the working conditions and labor rights in YFO’s plants in China to protect the workers there, too.
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 our 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 ;
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.
On behalf of all the YFOTU members and workers in YFO, we thank for your support.
Yours in solidarity,
Secretary, Young Fast Optoelectronic Trade Union (YFOTU)
General Secretary, National Federation of Independent Trade Unions (NAFITU)
(For more details of this campaign, please read our Fact Sheet.)
Lennon Ying-Dah Wong, Consultant and International Coordinator of YFOTU
Mobile: +886-933908994, +886-968049125
Wei-Li Chu, General Secretary, NAFITU