Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Protesters egg ministry building over union ruling

Protesters egg ministry building over union ruling

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Workers’ rights campaigners yesterday gather outside the Ministry of Labor in Taipei, protesting a ruling upholding the forced transfer of a Shin Hai Gas Corp Employees’ Union official.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Workers’ rights campaigners yesterday gathered outside the Ministry of Labor, shouting slogans and throwing eggs to protest a ruling upholding the forced transfer of a Shin Hai Gas Corp Employees’ Union official.
More than 100 demonstrators from the Hsin Hai Gas Corp Employees’ Union, the Taoyuan Confederation of Trade Unions and other groups blasted slogans from a sound truck aimed at the ministry building for more than an hour, shouting for members of the ministry’s inappropriate labor behavior adjudication board to come out and “face the music.”
A professional mourner wailed in front of a mock funeral altar for the board, whose decision to uphold the forced transfer of employees’ union vice president Yuan Chao-wen (袁照雯) endangered union protection due to corporate pressure, campaigners said.
Yuan was fired by the company in December last year for refusing to move to a new position assigned to her, appealing to the board after the failure of the New Taipei City Government to arbitrate a solution.
The board earlier this week overturned Yuan’s dismissal, while ruling that she was still obligated to accept the new position on the grounds that it would not disadvantage her or interfere with union activities.
Yuan said the transfer was intended to give her a “hard time” by increasing her work load after she helped organize protests against company plans to cut worker dividends.
“It was a pointed move because there was not any operational need,” she said. “Our union applied for benefits, so they decided to ‘operate’ on union officials.”
She said that while her new position in the company’s headquarters would place her across the road from the employee welfare committee where she had worked, the transfer would affect her union activities, because the committee shared offices with the union.
The decision to overrule Yuan’s dismissal should have included the transfer order, because both were intended to put pressure on the union, Taoyuan Confederation of Trade Unions secretary Lin Chuang-chou (林莊周) said, adding that the ruling reflected the board’s increasingly “conservative” rulings.

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