Hundreds of workers of Nan Shan Life Insurance, owned by entrepreneur Samuel Yin (???), held a rally Sunday outside the venue of the Tang Prize award ceremony to protest the company's failure to provide them with labor and health insurance.
The Nan Shan Insurance Trade Union (NSITU) said Yin, the founder of the Tang Prize, has not fulfilled the promise to protect workers' rights he made when he bought the insurance company in 2011.
They said it was ironic that Yin was hosting an award ceremony and banquet for a prize promoting "eastern cultural values" while not living up to the pledge he made to his company's workers, the union said in a statement released Thursday.
On Sunday, protesting workers held placards reading "Anti-deprivation" and "Samuel: Act like a man! Take responsibility!" on the square of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
Yin, chairman of the Ruentex Group, donated NT$3 billion (US$95.72 million) in 2011 to establish the Tang Prize Foundation, which honors contributors to the fields of sustainable development, Sinology, biopharmaceutical science, and the rule of law every two years.
The awards were first presented in 2014.
The insurance company contended that the salespeople work for the company as contractors rather than employees because they operate on their own time and don't have to punch in and out of work every day as do regular employees.
Based on the contractor system, salespeople can get health insurance through their own labor or trade union, the company said, noting that it has tried to clarify the controversy through the judicial process.
The trade union disagreed with Nan Shan Life's argument.
Taipei's Labor Department has formally stated three times that "all salespeople at Nan Shan Life Insurance are workers covered under the Labor Standards Act," the union said in its statement.
Workers covered by the Labor Standards Act are entitled to health and labor insurance coverage by their employers, said Chiu Chun-chi (???), vice chairman of the NSITU.
Some 1,700 members of the union are covered by labor insurance but not health insurance through Nan Shan Life Insurance, Chiu said.
The union has about 7,400 members, according to Chiu.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel