There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. -- Ernest Hemingway

星期一, 4月 19, 2010

Taiwan: Workers protest against the sweatshop-like working conditions

Recently, Young Fast Optoelectronics is accused by the trade union (YFOTU) for over-hours, long over-time extensively, and that YFO hires large numbers of migrant workers and "intern" child-labors, also, YFO layoff the cadres and members in the excuse of "the business suffers an operating loss or contraction” while others have to work overtime on weekends.


 汪英達, a social movement activist, nicknamed "Karl Max" posted on洋華光電產業工會-Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade Union (YFOTU) blog has the story:

YFO in Taoyuan County is one of the biggest manufacturers of touch panel in the world, and its major orders are from HTC, Samsung, LG and other world-known big brands. YFO, who has around 1,400 workers in Taiwan and around 3,000 in China and Vietnam, has once rushed to over NT$500 (approximately $15.68) per share in the stock market,....Beyond the stunning profit and the luxury "pride of Taiwan" mobile phones is a miser-able labor condition. YFO calculate the overtime illegally and pay less overtime for several thousands NT dollars per month for every worker, so the workers in YFO work overtime for more than 100 hours and earn only roughly NT30,000 ($941) per month. YSO is also suspected to lower the amount of labor and health insurance and hire a large number of migrant workers and young workers under 16 in the name of "interns".

The workers in YFO could no longer stand the labor condition and established a trade union on December, 2009, but YFO sabotaged the union by transferring a production line to China and dismissed 5 union cadres (2 executive board members, 2 board members, and 1 auditor) and more than 10 members altogether.

People Post (公民新聞平台), a citizen journalism website, reported on March 17th: While YFO lay-off labors protested at the Labor of Council (LOC), the CEO of National Indigenous Labor 朱維立 claimed that YFO spoke frankly to LOC that " (we) shall not be too generous to the trade union. And if Government of Taiwan put a finger on the issue, we would invest on other countries and China instead."

2010年3月17日洋華光電工會遭解雇員工到勞委會陳情,勞委會主管機關隨即與資方做溝通,資方坦言「不能對工會太仁慈,若台灣政府管太多,就去海外與 大陸投資」。

On April 4th, a surnamed user wrote a post on Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade Union (YFOTU) blog, published by "Karl Max" cited that he is a 53 -year- old single father, with sons and a daughter to arise:

我是○○○,洋華光電產業工會的一份子。在去年的這個時候,我還只是一個普通的作業員,幾個月前我們成立了工會,這件事突然讓我明白,原來我一直想要的, 並不是什麼遙不可及的,也不是什麼偉大的理想。

I am 0oo, one of Young Fast Optoelectronics Trade Union (YFOTU) members. I used to be a normal worker last year, and we have set up a union few months ago. It makes me understand that all I want is not something big and far away.

我已經53歲了,在來到洋華之前,我換過幾個工作,最後來到洋華應徵的時候,公司告訴我:「我們這裡要配合廠商(如宏達電)的訂單季節,經常要加班趕單 喔!你可以配合嗎?」我二話不說馬上就答應了。為甚麼我願意配合加班?因為我是一個單親爸爸,那時候我的女兒才剛上高中,兩個兒子還在念國小,一個快五十 歲的失業中年人,能奢望什麼更好的條件?我是真的需要這份薪水。

I'm 53 years old. Before joining Young Fast, I had few jobs. When I had an interview in Young Fast, the interviewer asked me whether I can work overtime in the business season for the dealers (such as HTC) I said yes without any hesitation, becasue I am a single father, my daughter just went to senior high school and my 2 sons still studied at elementary school. A 50 something jobless middle-age man, what can I ask for more? I am desperately long for this salary.


... The office hour is said to be from Monday to Friday, but everyone knows that we have to work on weekends most of the time. When the company have big cases, each of us has only 3 days off on average. And that is the truth.
...如果可以,我永遠都不會想去跟公司對立。我真的希望能在洋華好好做下去。每天我都戰戰兢兢,在工作上我不會犯一點錯誤,就是因為我是真心希 望能和公司一起打拼,把我的兒女好好養大。我要的並不多,我配合了公司要求的一切,我只希望公司能把該給的,最基本的、符合法律要求的報酬給我。然而,我 沒想到這麼單純的願望,竟然這麼曲折困難,....

...if possible, I would never be against the company. I do hope I can carry on my career in Young Fast. Every single day, I try to be very careful and not to make any mistakes. I want to give my best to Young Fast and raise my children. I am not greedy, for I have done everything I could to meet what they ask for. The only thing I hope for is they pay me what I have deserted by the law. However, it is too difficult to fulfill dispite of just a simple hope...

因為訂單量爆增,洋華在短時間內擴張得太快,中間的管理階層卻還是停留在傳統的軍事化管理,當我們的主管接到上面通知:「這個月內產量要趕出來!」他們為 了衝高產量就會逼我們每天延長下班時間,又把週末、國定假日的休假都取消,叫我們來工廠趕工。

Due to increasing orders, Young Fast has expanded quickly, middle management still treat us as if we were in the army. When our manager is told by the surpior that we have certain product goal by the month, our weekend, holidays and leaves are all cancelled and office hour delayed. We have to work over hours.

...以前只要週六日加班,每天薪水就能多加五百元。一個月拼一點不要休息,就能多三、四千元,算一算一個月就有三萬四、五了。...後來,公司竟然改成,週末兩天都要加班才能加五百!再後來五百元完全取消了,如果不去加班還會威脅我們要倒扣!結果現在每個月做到要死要活,每天都12個 小時,星期六星期日還要來,整個月下來只能領到三萬一、三萬二....

In the past, we had 500NTD bonus (about 15.9 USD) a day for extra works on weekends. Without any holidays there would be 3 or 4 thousand dollars more, and there will be around 34 thousand something per month... then, the rule changed, we had to work both on Saturday and Sunday and got only 500 NTD. At last, we had no bonus at all. If we don't go to work, they would threaten to dock our pay... In the end, we work 12 hours a day, and have to go to work on Sat and Sun, and we have only about 31 thousands NTD...

我們公司的員工餐廳,每到假日,就有很多幼童在那裡看電視,難道是因為公司的電視比較好看嗎?就是因為公司強迫加班,我們的員工裡面有很多單親媽媽、或者 沒辦法請人顧小孩的弱勢家庭,所以他們只好把小孩帶來員工餐廳,把小孩丟在那裡看電視,下班再接他們回家....

Our canteen is always full of kids sitting around and wathing TV on holidays. Is it because TV in our company is worth watching? Due to those extra forced work, many single mother of our employees and family with low incomes have to bring their children to the canteen and leave them alone to watch TV, and bring them home after work ...

我很希望公司的高層主管,你們能聽見我們的心聲,當你們迎接國際大廠的訂單笑呵呵的時候,你們的員工卻已經快走光了,就是因為你們的主管長期使用高壓的管 理方法。不但強迫我們加班、假日工作,犯一點小錯就會被辱罵、約談,動不動就扣錢,管理的制度和薪資明細都很不透明,讓很多同事都心生不滿。...

I do hope that the high rank manager would listen to our voice. When you are smiling and having good time in making big money from international big company, you almost lost your workers. And that is because your managers have been forcing us to work overhours and take lifts on weekends. Whenever we made a slight mistake, we would be summoned and scolded. Our wages have been deducted frequently, and we are all angry with the way they treat us and the unspecified wage detail as well. ...

我不是刁民,我只是有太多的疑惑,我想問問還在廠內的同仁,難道你們沒有跟我一樣的疑惑:為甚麼不能用更人性化的方式管理?為甚麼加班費不 按照合法的計算方式給我們?為甚麼國定假日和颱風假,都不讓我們放假?為甚麼我們只是向上面反應說要求法律明 定的權益,就要被約談,接下來反應的人就會被調到清潔大隊、如果繼續反應,還會被資遣?

I am not a wayward worker. I just have too many questions that I'd like to ask those who are still working for YFO. Why they cannot treat us more like a human? What is the catch they would not give our wages by the law? How come we don't have days off on holidays and typhoon days? Why is that when we ask for some privilege by the law, and would be summoned, and end up with tranform to cleaning crew, or even be laid off ?

為甚麼公司的人資、管理人員,好像從來沒受過什麼「人力資源管理」的專業訓練,也沒聽過《勞基法》是什麼?當他們要叫我們工作的時 候,不擇手段的逼迫恐嚇,但當我們拿著白紙黑字的法律去問他們:為甚麼扣我這些錢,這是違法的,請把我的錢還我。他們卻能輕鬆愉快的說:一切合法!

Why is that human resource and management behaves as if they haven't been trained? Nor did they hear of Labor Standard Act? When they asked us to work, they do everything they could to threaten us. Note while we take the law to ask them why they had our wages deducted, and ask them to give back our money. They could still say that everything is leagal.

所以,我們工會剛成立時,根本沒有什麼激烈的動作還是抗議,一開始,我們只是溫和的向公司提出一些訴求,拜託公司能安排一些時間跟我們談 談,讓工會代表(幹部)能請公假,去服務其他辛苦工作的同仁,拿回一些他們被積欠的薪水和福利,我後來去翻書,才知道這都是工會法明文保障我們的權利,公 司如果不准假都是違法的。

Therefore, when we formed our union. There is no intense action or protest. At the beginning, we just present our request to the company. We beg the authority to arrange a meeting with us, to allow our representative to have a paid leave, in order to help others to get the unpaid wages and benifits back. Later I found out it was the lawful rights by the Acts of Union, it is against the law if the company doesn't allow to.

...當主管知道我們成立工會的時候,氣得把那些帶頭的幹部約談,破口大罵我們這些技術員:「沒有資格組工會」,在他眼中,根本不覺得我們這些沒 學歷又沒地位的低層員工,有資格組織起來要求這些東西,更沒有資格擔任工會幹部。我很想問問大家,為什麼洋華的主管要那麼瞧不起我們現場技術員的人格和能 力?...

...When the managers knew that we formed the union, they were mad at the leader of the union. They scolded at us, and said that we don't have right to form the union. In his point of view, we either have education or social class, to have the right to form the union to demand somthing. Nor the right to be the union leader. I'd like to ask why YFO want to despise us, as a technician worker?...


I used to think those who went on street and fought for their rights have gone to far. Now I know I just want to be treated like a human.

...我不想對抗公司,也不想傷害任何人,說我們想把公司搞垮、害大家沒工作, 那是不可能的。...,我對這份工作只有最卑微的請求:請公司把我們當成「人」看。遵守法律最低的規定,讓我們休息,付我們足夠的薪水可以養 家,就只是這樣,就只是這樣,我要的就只是這樣。

I don't want to oppose the company and do harm to anybody. It is no way that we want to make the company go bankrupcy and make everyone lose job. I only hope that the YFO treat us like a human, and allow us to have a holiday, pay us sufficient money to raise our family, that's all, that's all, that's all I need...

Blogger 蟲鳴, who works for another union, elaborate his view on his blog:

主要是,洋華的面版的主要客戶是 HTC,HTC對洋華的態度,可以決定洋華如何對待員工。然後今天洋華基本上就是吃定工會,兩次的勞資調解,洋華甚至於說出,不能對工會客氣這種話。基本 上,從內部進行,洋華工會對洋華基本上是沒有可以談的空間了,洋華現在對工會就是,誰當工會幹部,就把誰資遣。

The main customer of Young Fast Optoelectronics is HTC. The way HTC treats Young Fast descide how Young Fast treats their workers. Young Fast determines to eat its trade union alive. In the twice accommodation, Young Fast dare to say that no mercy to its trade union. In other words, there is no room for negotiation between the labour and the company. Young Fast would fire whosever served as a leadership in the trade union.

洋華工會基本上不是像一些傳統工會,是因為工作條件優渥而產生的,而是因為工作條件太惡劣,為了爭取工人權益而產生的。因此洋華工會的工會幹部都是基層的 藍領工作者,面對資遣,他們並沒有太多的籌碼。而洋華公司透過壓榨工人的勞動條件,得到了較低的成本跟商業競爭優勢,並成為重要的面版供應廠。換言之不合 理的犧牲員工並打壓勞工,讓洋華有了更多的成本優勢。

YFO trade union, unlike a conventional good working condition one, is there due to the bad working condition. YFO trade union is born to struggle for worker's right. Therefore the members for YFO trade union are all blue-collar workers, they don't have many chips to bargain. Young Fast in this case, gained the competitive advantage by exploiting labors to get lower cost and business prioirty. By doing so, it managed to become one of the important panel suppliers. In other words, the unreasonable treatment toward labors help Young Fast to gain much prioirty on cost effitiveness.

在產業鍊上,洋華能夠供應HTC價格滿意的商品,同時也意味著,HTC採購 的面版,基本上是血汗工廠所生產的血汗面版。因此,我們可以完全的說HTC在要求下游供應商應該合法合理的對待勞工完全沒有責任嗎?

On the supplier chain, Young Fast provides HTC goods with a reasonable price. That is to say what HTC purchased are panels that produced by sweatshops. Therefore we doubt the responsibility that HTC should demand its supplier to treat their workers fairly.

HTC 對洋華不進行要求跟約束,無疑的就是做出一種可怕的宣示,那就是HTC不在乎採購的產品是否道德,是否來自血汗工廠,只要價格低廉跟好用就好。

HTC doesn't contain Young Fast, which means they disregard the fact whether their products came from a sweatshop or not, as long as the price and the quality matter.

While government of Taiwan promotes Economic Cooperation Framework Agreements (ECFA) with China, the fact that more and more companys invest their money in China, and Taiwanese labors suffer from wage deduction and being laid off. The truth is that the company is still profitable, said Hsieh Chuang-chih (謝創智), the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions secretary-general in an interview with Liberal Times. GVers Taiwan will continue to focus on this issue.