The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said that a statement by the Taipei Department of Labor reaffirming that employers are obliged to pay workers in accordance with the law is “a slap in the face to the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee,” which said that the KMT was intentionally obfuscating the issue.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Wang Hong-wei (王鴻薇) told a morning news conference in Taipei that the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Labor and the department have been “allowing the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee and its director, Wellington Koo (顧立雄), to trample labor rights with its political agenda and flout the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) and the spirit of the law.”
The KMT has not been able to pay its employees on time and has filed a plan with the department for a possible mass layoff, Wang said.
“However, the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee froze the KMT’s funds and denied that paying salaries, severance and pensions required in a mass layoff is a statutory obligation,” Wang said.
Wang said that she received an official reply from the department after inquiring about the matter and that it issued a statement confirming that the act requires employers to pay workers and stipulates punishments if they do not.
“Does Koo consider himself above the law and the department’s superior?” Wang asked.
Former department commissioner Chen Yeh-shin (陳業鑫), who is also a lawyer, said at the news conference that the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee has unabashedly contravened the law, adding that no matter how heated the political feud is, “labor rights should not be affected.”
Chen asked the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee to release some of the funds it has ordered frozen and restrict them for specific uses, which in this case would be for salaries, severance and pensions.
Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said that it concurs with the department’s statement about employer obligations, but added that the party should pay its employees with legally earned political donations and party fees.
It could also use real estate registered under the KMT’s name rather than — as the party has proposed — properties listed as assets of Central Investment Co (中央投資公司) and Hsinyutai Co (欣裕台), which the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee has ordered be transferred to the central government, Shih said.
The KMT should stop obfuscating the issue and solve its own problems by appropriate means, she said.