Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Workers say Inventec layoffs illegal

Workers say Inventec layoffs illegal

‘ABANDONED’:Engineer Liu Chia-hui said the company had abandoned the workers after they worked hard to build its reputation as a global leader in the industry

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

Laid-off Inventec workers protest in front of the Ministry of Labor in Taipei yesterday, as police officers bar access to the building.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Dozens of former employees of Inventec Corp — the nation’s leading contract computer and mobile device manufacturer — yesterday rallied outside the Ministry of Labor in Taipei to protest the massive layoff of nearly 200 workers in late March.
The Inventec Workers’ Self-Help Organization said that the mass layoffs were illegal.
The organization demanded that the company re-employ the workers.
They said that since Inventec made high revenues and profits over the past year, the unexpected cutbacks failed to meet the legal requirements for layoffs in Article 11 of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).
They accused the company of taking advantage of a loophole in regulations on mass redundancy by conducting the layoffs through successive small-scale operations, cutting down on the number of its workers dozens at a time over the course of several days.
Organization president Chang Yung-lung (張永隆) said the company’s claims that it had provided assistance to the workers to find new employment opportunities were not accurate.
“The company failed to fulfill its responsibilities in providing assistance for its employees, but rather resorted to spreading rumors about employment assistance and that the workers have accepted superior severance packages,” Chang said.
Labor rights campaigner Yao Kuang-chu (姚光祖) said the mass redundancies were the result of the company outsourcing its production lines in Taoyuan’s Dashi District (大溪) to China.
Liu Chia-hui (劉佳輝), a former testing engineer at the Dashi plant, said he began his career at Inventec when the company purchased its production line for computer servers from US technology company Digital Equipment Corp in 1998.
He said that Inventec had abandoned the workers after they worked hard to build firm’s reputation as a global industry leader, with recent expansion in manufacturing facilities in the Czech Republic and Mexico.
“Inventec started out as a notebook manufacturer; it did not make servers at the time,” Liu said.
“It would not have enjoyed its success today if it were not for us senior employees [from Digital Equipment Corp] who were willing to break our backs for the company,” Liu added.
The majority of the employees who were laid off are in their 40s and 50s and could experience a difficult time in finding employment elsewhere, Liu said.
Chen Yu-wen (陳毓雯), deputy director of the ministry’s Department of Labor Relations, said that the ministry is to hold negotiations between the workers and Inventec tomorrow to determine whether the layoffs constituted illegal behavior.

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