Staff demand improved severance

By Sun Hsin Hsuan, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Dozens of former TransAsia Airway’s staff camped outside the home of chairman Vincent Lin (林明昇) Monday to demand improved severance packages. A NT$600 million fund to cover employees’ salaries and redundancy payments was set up following an order from the Labor Ministry and the Taipei City Government’s Labor Department. Employees’ November salaries were paid on Nov. 30, and severance money was scheduled to be transferred within 15 days of dismissal — 15 days earlier than the 30-day advancement mandated by the Labor Standards Act, the airline said. Severance payments were calculated by standards more favorable to the employees than those stipulated by the labor law, TransAsia said. Employees who had been with TransAsia for more than three years would also enjoy severance deals better than the legal minimum.

However, TransAsia said they were awaiting board approval for the packages. The airline insisted it had “proactively” provided its employees with job references and had helped them in their search for new jobs. The staff cuts are being made in three rounds, with the first two on Dec. 2 and Dec. 12, and the third set for Dec. 22. Leading the demonstrators outside the residence of the airline’s chairman, TransAsia Airways’ Labor Union Deputy Director Pang Min-yi (龐閔憶) said “all this apparent ‘goodwill’ is a basic obligation.”

Pang said the union had applied for the right to occupy the road outside Lin’s residence for 10 days and would continue to protest until Lin agreed to meet with employees.