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MOTC to supervise FETC in ex-toll collector job hunt

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) yesterday said the ministry will supervise the Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co. (FETC) in its efforts to place all former freeway toll collectors in new jobs.

Some ex-toll collectors were not satisfied with the job transfer arrangement made by the FETC after the launch of a new electronic freeway toll collecting system cost them their jobs.

With the support of labor organizations, dozens of ex-toll collectors launched a camp-out protest to vent their anger toward the FETC and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and fight for their rights in front of the MOTC building.

Yeh said that both the MOTC and the National Freeway Bureau (NFB) have been concerned about the job transfer of former toll collectors.

“However, over 100 ex-toll collectors filled out the forms to be reassigned to new jobs by the FETC so far, but they have never participated in the work-matching process,” said Yeh.

He said that those ex-toll collectors who have not shown up to any job-matching events should take some time to understand the jobs provided by the FETC.

As for the idea of establishing a fund for job reassurance proposed by the self-help alliance of ex-toll collectors, Yeh said that based on the contract between the FETC and the MOTC, all the ex-toll collectors who agree to be reassigned to new jobs by the FETC will not receive a salary lower than that they received when serving as freeway toll collectors within five years of reassignment.

Yeh said that both the MOTC and the NFB will make sure that the FETC will not violate what it promised to do in the contract.

According to the self-help alliance of ex-toll collectors, they will continue the camp-out until June 13 to demonstrate their determination to fight for their rights.

Ex-toll Collectors Appeal to Control Yuan

Nearly 100 ex-toll collectors went to the Control Yuan to make an appeal against the MOTC for illegally terminating their employment.

According to the self-help alliance, the MOTC's action to terminate the employment of toll collectors was against regulations, and the FETC did not provide appropriate jobs for the ex-toll collectors who wished to be reassigned to new positions.

The self-help alliance said that even though the NFB said that those who did not go to the job interviews that the FETC arranged are considered to be forfeiting their rights to be hired, there is no article in the contract stating that absence from the job interviews equals giving up the jobs.

Control Yuan member Ma Yi-kung (馬以工) yesterday met up with the representatives of the self-help alliance, and she said that this case has been investigated by many Control Yuan members.

The NFB recently announced that it is impractical for the government to place former freeway toll collectors in civil service positions as they requested.

According to the NFB, based on Article 11 of the Labor Standards Act, the MOTC does not have an obligation to reassign former toll collectors to other jobs.

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