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September 22, 2017

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HTC Corp. responds to complaint it axed jobs without giving notice

TAIPEI--Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. yesterday responded to a complaint that it has been axing jobs of contract workers without informing them in advance by saying that it always complies with labor laws.

"HTC has always obeyed labor laws to protect the working conditions of employees," HTC said in an e-mailed statement.

"The contract worker agencies working in cooperation with our company also comply with the government's regulations to provide a fair and efficient environment for employees," the Taoyuan-based company said.

In light of the industry's volatility, HTC has worked with third-party agencies to recruit contract workers to help adjust its seasonal production capacity more efficiently, the company explained.

HTC also provides permanent jobs for contract workers who perform outstandingly, the company said, adding that it offered full-time jobs to 710 contract workers between August and October this year.

HTC's statement came after a former contract worker hired by the company complained earlier in the day that HTC has been cutting jobs of contract workers without informing them in advance.

The contract worker, surnamed Chiu, said at a press conference held by the Taiwan Labor Front that he received a phone message from the company in July telling him that he had been laid off. He was given no other notification.

According to Chiu, he tried to call HTC directors to complain about the method used to lay off contract workers, but no one answered his calls.

Chiu said he was surprised to receive another message from a contract worker agency in early October that said HTC was recruiting contract workers urgently.

"I was unhappy about this," Chiu said. "HTC lacks a system for treating contract workers."

Son Yu-lian, secretary-general of the Taiwan Labor Front, said Chiu's case highlights employment challenges facing Taiwan's contract workers.

Son said he suspects that HTC usually starts cutting jobs of contract workers when the company needs to reduce production.

HTC has about 4,500 employees in its Taoyuan factory, 50 percent of whom are either foreign workers or students on intern programs, Son said.

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