Labor Standards Law and teachers


#1

I’m going after my employer (a legal English school), but I need to know if the articles covered in the Labor Standards Laws also cover the education field. There’s no mention of the education field, which makes me worry that a teacher (especially a foreign English teacher), may be left with a sticky legal battle trying to enforce these laws. Any info or advice would be helpful.

Article 2 says:
“This law shall be applicable to the following lines of business:
Agriculture, forestry, fishery, pasturage;
Mining and quarrying;
Manufacturing;
Construction;
Water, electricity, gas;
Transportation, warehousing, and telecommunications;
Mass communication;
Other business as designated by the central competent authority.”


#2

One more thing:

They also claim to be exempt from the Labor Standards Laws because I don’t work more than 42 hours in a work week. (I work 37.) I see nothing about this requirement in the LSL articles. Does anyone know where they could be getting such information?

Peace out.


#3

Obviously, the laws about this are the same throughout the island. However, determining the applicability in your case will probably require a written inquiry to the local county or city government.

As a trial research project, I called the Taipei City Government this morning. First I tried the Bureau of Education. The department in charge of bushiban matters assured me that teachers are indeed covered by the Labor Standards Law. However, he suggested that I call the Bureau of Labor Affairs for a clarification of the details.

When I called the Bureau of Labor Affairs (BLA), the person at the Information Desk there, tel: (02) 2720-8889 ext. 1002, checked his lawbooks and other reference materials and said “Teachers in a bushiban are not covered by the Labor Standards Law.”

(So, this is Taiwan. Personally, I prefer not to make telephone inquiries about any matters of consequence. It is better to have your Chinese friends help you type out a formal letter and send to the local city or county government for a formal reply.)

The person in the BLA did make another interesting statement however. He said that regardless of whether you are covered by the Labor Standards Law, you can still drop by their department to lodge a grievance against a local employer. If necessary, they will arrange a formal meeting so that both sides can discuss and negotiate the situation in front of a BLA representative.

I assume that all local city and county governments would have similar services.


#4

I wonder what all this means. I would like to have protection for out of work and retirement claims.

I have a fellow teacher that paid into retirement and worker’s’ disablities benefits at a previous busiban, but now is denied (along with myself) similar benefits at our present employer.

I have worked for the same company for over 7 years, but if I have an auto accident (which several teacher have had over the years) it seems I am on my own.


#5

A “test case” in this area certainly needs to be undertaken.


#6

The Labour Rights Association (Laodong renquan xiehui) have been a lot of help to me in pursuing my wrongful dismissal case against Trade Winds alias AsiaTradeMart alias Interface Global. The LRA’s details are on the following web page: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/6173/lra-en.htm. They do have some people who can speak English and Japanese. The Taibei City Labour Department they can set up two different kinds of meetings with your employer. You should ask for “tiao2jie3” because it carries more force.


#7

I’ve done some research on unions in Taiwan and the cards are stacked against the employee. It is not like the USA where collective bargaining can be done by one union acrossed several employers (eg. UAW). Unions in Taiwan are basically limited to one per employer. That is a mixed bag of pros and cons.

Large unions can become problematic as the economy matures and their rigidity impairs flexibility to employers or causes a stagnant corporate culture…I won’t sweep floors for $12 hourly as it is not my job description.

The flipside is that unions also impair those drastic wholesale layoffs of corporate downsizings or address the more fundamental workplace problems of bad practices and unacceptable conditions.
Aliens are most vulnerable and should be represented by a union or a professional association. Or do something to the embarassment of the ROC to force it to more quickly adopt reasonable standards in the ARC visa issuance laws. I think of South Korea as a reasonable comparison for English Conversation teachers.