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Foreigners must be sacked before dispatched workers: CLA

The China Post news staff--The Cabinet-level Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday resolved to ban local enterprises from laying off dispatched workers before severing foreign workers, or their foreign labor quota will be dropped.

The CLA made the resolution in response to media reports that some noted electronics firms had recently unexpectedly laid off a number of dispatched workers — local temporary employees who are dispatched to firms by a third party agency — instead of foreign workers to reduce labor costs amid sluggish sales.

In order to safeguard the rights of domestic workers, the CLA has decided to broaden the application of an earlier regulation designed to prevent local enterprises from recklessly laying off locals.

The regulation, designed following the global financial recession of 2008, called for local enterprises to lay off foreign workers first, and then “domestic workers” if required. “Domestic workers” in the regulation was limited to “regular” domestic workers, excluding those who work as dispatched employees.

“Domestic workers” in the amended regulation will include dispatched local workers.

The new regulation states that if any enterprise is found violating the resolution it will see its foreign labor quota cut in-line with the number of laid-off dispatched workers. For instance, if an enterprise unduly severs 10 dispatched workers instead of foreign workers, then they will see their quota of 10 foreign workers dropped. They will also face a fine of NT$60,000 to NT$300,000.

The CLA moved to amend the regulation after reports that Gintech Energy Corp. allegedly claimed that foreign workers are part of the firm's long-term workforce and won't be slashed, but dispatched workers are a type of short-term workforce that will be adjusted in accordance with business conditions.

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