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High Administrative Court issues ruling against MOL

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei High Administrative Court yesterday issued a ruling against the Ministry of Labor (MOL) regarding five lawsuits, stating that the 12 defendants do not need to pay back the loans to the government.

The verdict says the government issued the loans to the workers based on its responsibility to compensate them, noting that the terms and conditions of the loans suggest that they were designed for those of a lower socioeconomic status.

The verdict further said that the then-Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), which was recently upgraded to the MOL, should have filed lawsuits in 2006 at the latest over the issue of whether or not the workers should repay the loans to the government. The verdict said, however, that the CLA pressed charges in June 2012, which was past the statute of limitations.

Labor Minister Pan Shih-wei (潘世偉) yesterday during an interpellation at the Legislative Yuan said the MOL respects the court's ruling, noting that when the ministry receives the official verdict, it will carefully review the ruling and then make a decision on whether or not to appeal. He added that this is the first verdict regarding the issue, and there are 209 remaining lawsuits at the administrative court.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) as well said he respects the court's ruling, noting that as the lawsuits are individual cases, he will request the MOL to study the verdict and then make a decision considering all perspectives.

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Members of the National Alliance for Workers of Closed Factories (全國關廠工人連線) and supporters of the organization speak to reporters in front of the Taipei High Administrative Court, yesterday. The court yesterday issued a ruling against the Ministry of Labor. (CNA)

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