Vietnamese workers end protest at Compal's Taoyuan plant

06/02/2020 10:35 PM
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Taoyuan, June 2 (CNA) A sit-in staged by hundreds of migrant workers from Vietnam at a Compal Electronics Inc. factory in Taoyuan came to an end Tuesday after the two sides reached an agreement on the disputed issues, city authorities said.

In a statement, Taoyuan's Department of Labor said that after the negotiations, the migrant workers agreed to return to work, and the company has promised to deal with workers' complaints over living conditions and wages deduction and not retaliate against those who took part in the protest.

They said Compal management had not breached the law in its handling of the relevant issues, as the Vietnamese workers had claimed.

During the negotiations, which were mediated by labor department officials, the two sides reached an agreement and promised to end the labor-management dispute, according to the statement.

Earlier Tuesday, more than 800 Vietnamese workers staged a sit-in against what they said were poor living conditions in their dormitories and the company's deduction of NT$4,000 (US$133) per month from their wages for boarding and lodging.

The protesters said the deduction was much higher than the NT$2,500 cited in a "foreign labor cost agreement" with their employer before they came to Taiwan and that Compal had not responded to their complaints about the issue.

The Vietnamese workers also said their dorms were too small, hot and humid, as there was no air conditioning in those facilities.

They further said some of their compatriots at the Compal plant had been sent back to Vietnam after they posted photos of their dorms on social media, and they were asked to pay a penalty for terminating their employment contract.

Photo courtesy of Taoyuan Department of Labor
Photo courtesy of Taoyuan Department of Labor

The Taiwanese brokerage firm that helped recruit the Vietnamese workers for Compal, however, said the NT$4,000 boarding and lodging fee was decided and certified by the authorities in both countries.

Compal has the right to charge each migrant worker an amount of less than NT$5,000 per month for boarding and lodging, as suggested by the Ministry of Labor, the city's labor department said, citing the Labor Standards Act.

In a statement issued later Tuesday, Compal said it did not illegally retain money from the Vietnamese workers' wages and that the NT$4,000 covered their boarding, lodging and tax deductions.

Regarding the termination of some Vietnamese workers, Compal said they were isolated cases that were handled in accordance with the law.

Compal is the second-largest contract laptop manufacturer in the world, after Quanta Computer, which is also based in Taiwan.

(By Flor Wang and Wu Jui-chih)

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