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May 29, 2017

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FETC must resolve job hunting issue by July 17

The National Freeway Bureau (NFB) yesterday afternoon held a press conference, saying that the Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection (FETC) has been asked to improve its progress in placing all former freeway toll collectors in new jobs by July 17, or the firm will be deemed to be in breach of contract at the end of the month.

NFB Deputy Director-General Wu Mu-fu (吳木富) said the FETC should assist the workers on their job hunts, and the distance between a former worker's residence and his or her new company cannot be over 30 kilometers.

The FETC at the end of June sent over 200 letters to former toll collectors introducing job opportunities to them. The NFB yesterday said it reviewed the 200 notice letters one by one and discovered that the firm gave 16 inappropriate job offers to former freeway toll collectors.

Using one of the letters as an example, the NFB said that a former toll collector who lives in Pingtung County was offered a position at a company based in Kaohsiung City, a distance that exceeds the regulation 30 kilometers.

The NFB said, moreover, it discovered that the job offers were given out by the FETC unilaterally, adding that the FETC could not prove the job offers were made with the consent of the companies.

Two Grace Periods

The bureau said it deems that the FETC has made mistakes regarding the job hunts but has not yet attained the level of being in breach of contract.

The NFB said it will first offer the FETC a grace period until July 17 to improve, adding that should the firm not make any headway by then, the NFB will consider it in breach of contract.

However, even if the firm is seen as being in breach of contract by the end of July, the NFB will still offer a second grace period, all in accordance with the contract. The bureau said that should the FETC fail to improve the situation by the second grace period's deadline, the bureau will fine them NT$500,000 every day until the NFB's demands are met.

The FETC responded to the NFB's remarks by saying that it has offered job opportunities to every former worker, noting that some of the former freeway toll collectors have never participated in job-matching events.

The FETC further said that some of the former workers left their new company after working there for a short period of time, noting that these factors cannot be blamed on the FETC.

During the NFB press conference, over 30 former freeway toll collectors and activists joining them blocked the entrance of the MOTC building and demanded to be part of the press conference. The protesters demanded that the NFB fine the FETC immediately.

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