Employers to face stiffer fines for preventing workers joining unions
Taipei, Nov. 15 (CNA) A law amendment that imposes harsher penalties on employers who refuse to allow workers to join a union or participate in union related activities cleared the floor of Taiwan's Legislature on Tuesday without a vote.
The amendment to Article 45 of the Labor Union Act stipulates that those found guilty of committing such infractions under the Act will face a fine of between NT$100,000 (US$3,223) and NT$500,000, up from the current NT$30,000-NT$150,000.
The Article lays out penal provisions for violations of the law written in the Act that "is enacted in order to promote solidarity of workers, enhance their status and improve their livelihood."
Under Article 35 of the union law, an employer or supervisor who represents the employer in exercising managerial authority are not allowed to refuse to hire, dismiss, demote, reduce the wage of, or otherwise treat unfairly employees who organize or join a labor union, participate in activities held by a labor union, or assume a position in a labor union.
Based on the amended law, in the future employers who engage in such actions will have their name, disciplinary date, violation and penalty listed in a public announcement made by the relevant authorities.
Employers who fail to make improvements within a given period even after an initial fine will receive a further penalty of NT$200,000 to NT$1 million, which is an increase from the current NT$60,000-NT$300,000. In addition, the fine will be imposed consecutively if employers fail to take any corrective action.
The amendment was proposed by a cross-party group of lawmakers earlier this year, who believe the current fines imposed for such violations are too light and do not effectively prevent employers from engaging in improper labor practices.
Wang Hou-wei (王厚偉), head of the Department of Employment Relations under the Ministry of Labor, said that punishment is not the purpose of the law amendment.
Instead, it is hoped that "employees do not engage in infractions of labor rights, respect labor unions and maintain stable labor relations," Wang said.
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