A group of Vietnamese migrant workers from Meiti staged another protest in front of the Taipei City government on Monday after five of their compatriot workers were reportedly set to be fired by the food company due to alleged economic difficulties.
On May 21, more than 70 workers appeared at Taipei City Hall to argue that the company’s decision to lay off the five was actually an act of revenge because their compatriots had initiated a protest earlier this month to get the food manufacturer to pay outstanding overtime payments, the Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News reported.
On May 3, more than 80 Vietnamese workers at Meiti staged a rally at the entrance of the manufacturing site to draw the attention of the city’s Labor Affairs Bureau, which helped settle the dispute by pressing the company to compensate all affected workers by May 15.
Today (Tuesday), Labor department section chief Liao Wu-hui promised that the authorities would look into the latest dispute to see if the five employees really were being sacked due to economic difficulties.
The company put the blame on the previous protest, claiming it had upset their business. It claimed they had 30%-50% fewer orders year-on-year, so they could not renew contracts for the five workers, whose employment deals will be completed at the end of this month.
The protesters were skeptical about the claims of fewer purchasing orders, saying they were made to work from midnight till 4am, with workloads more or less the same as usual.
And the company had sought to identify the individuals responsible for the last strike. That was why the migrant workers believed it was an act of revenge rather than a business decision.
Meanwhile, workers have not been able to cash the compensation checks they received for their overtime after the protest. The company claims the total sum was so large it would take another 10 working days to process.