Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Most Taipei media failing to pay reporters overtime

Most Taipei media failing to pay reporters overtime

‘REGRETFUL’::Other labor violations included failing to keep attendance records, not meeting with labor representatives and lengthening hours without union approval

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Apr 21, 2015 - Page 4

Nearly 80 percent of media organizations in Taipei fail to pay reporters overtime, the Taipei Department of Labor Affairs said yesterday.
The findings were based on a labor inspection conducted across 34 media organizations — including print media, TV news stations and radio broadcasters — with information gathered during 127 inspection trips conducted last month.
Employees at more than 70 percent of media organizations reported work hours that exceed the legal limit as stipulated in the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) — which caps work hours at 12 per day and 46 hours of overtime per month, the department said.
It also revealed that more than 70 percent of media organizations fail to keep attendance records for their employees; 61 percent did not hold regular meetings with labor representatives as required by law; and 58 percent failed to gain approval from union representatives before lengthening work hours.
While all 34 inspected media organizations are to be fined for at least one violation, four media outlets — Apple Daily, the Liberty Times (sister paper of the Taipei Times), the Commercial Times and Cti Television — topped the list with eight labor violations apiece, the department said.
The amount of fines for each company is to be finalized after the department receives official replies from the companies, the department added.
By law, failure to pay overtime warrants a fine of between NT$20,000 and NT$300,000.
An additional 41 inspection trips took place while accompanied by media professionals, as part of the department’s new professional-accompanied labor inspection program launched last month.
The recently finished inspection of the news industry was among the first wave of labor inspections in the new program, along with inspections of the finance, medical and high-tech industries.
The Apple Daily Employees’ Union said in a statement that it was “regretful” that the Apple Daily was found to have topped the list for violations, adding that the union has issued repeated demands for the company to improve its labor conditions.
The union said that, although the company might pride itself in providing higher wages and benefits than its competitors, it should refrain from endlessly taking advantage of its employees’ labor.
Following the labor inspection, managers at the Apple Daily expressed their intention to devise new methods for keeping track of attendance records and calculating overtime pay, the union said.
Last month, department director Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) said that results of the inspection would be sent to the National Communications Commission if government fines failed to improve work conditions among media professionals.

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