The government should distinguish between members and non-members when compensation payments are made to former toll collection workers laid off after the nation switched to an automated freeway tolls system, members of a former toll collectors’ association said yesterday.
“We are here to tell President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) that we will keep on fighting if the government fails to follow through on its promises,” rights advocate Kuo Kuan-chun (郭冠軍) said as about 100 association members marched from National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to the president’s official residence in Taipei.
Tsai was involving in negotiating a settlement over severance pay between the association and Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co, with the company agreeing to pay one-third of NT$600 million (US$19 million) set aside for the payments.
The government said while the settlement was being negotiated last summer that claims of all former toll collectors would be considered on an equal basis, regardless of association membership.
However, disagreements have emerged, with members demanding a bigger share after non-members protested their case outside the Ministry of Labor building on Tuesday.
Self-help association president Sun Hsiu-luan (孫秀鑾) yesterday criticized the ministry for promising to provide equal compensation.
“Because our agreement with the government was the result of two years of continuous struggle, protests and negotiation, different treatment for non-members should be a matter of course,” Sun said, adding that the agreement should be viewed as including implicit “anti-free rider” provisions.
“They said that there would not be any specific calculations until the review was completed, but now they are commenting ahead of time about the status of members and non-members,” Sun said.
The ministry has said it would finish reviews of claims by April.