RCA par­ent firms to pay NT$560 mil.

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

The decade- l ong l aw­suit against the par­ent firms of Ra­dio Cor­po­ra­tion of Amer­ica (RCA,

) bore re­sults yes­ter­day, as the Taipei Dis­trict Court (

) or­dered RCA’s cur­rent own­ers to com­pen­sate its for­mer em­ploy­ees a to­tal of NT$560 mil­lion; con­cerns re­main that the for­mer em­ploy­ees will still walk away empty-handed.

The court an­nounced that it deemed the RCA brand and four re­lated com­pa­nies’ us­age of car­cino­genic in­gre­di­ents, such as trichloroethane (

), trichloroethy­lene ( ), tetra­chloroethene ( ) and di­chloro­meth­ane ( ), had a di­rect cor­re­la­tion to many of the for­mer em­ploy­ees’ can­cer di­ag­noses.

Gen­eral Elec­tric

(GE,

), Technicolor ( for­mally Thom­son SA), Technicolor U.S.A and Thom­son Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics (Ber­muda) ( Thom­son) were ruled to be re­spon­si­ble in the law­suit as well, due to their re­la­tion­ship with the RCA brand.

High­est In­di­vid­ual Com­pen­sa­tion at NT$4.47

Mil­lion

The Taoyuan County For­mer RCA Em­ploy­ees' So­lic­i­tude As­so­ci­a­tion (The As­so­ci­a­tion,

) acted as the plain­tiff in the case and suc­cess­fully se­cured NT$560 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion for nearly 450 em­ploy­ees of the 529 for­mer RCA work­ers. The high­est com­pen­sa­tion for an in­di­vid­ual di­ag­nosed with can­cer was NT$ 4.47 mil­lion, with NT$1.53 mil­lion marked for in­di­vid­u­als with a high risk of de­vel­op­ing can­cer and NT$1.68 mil­lion for those who had al­ready suc­cumbed to the dis­ease.

In­el­i­gi­ble for Com­pen­sa­tion

While for­mer em­ploy­ees who worked at the RCA fac­tory in Taoyuan were el­i­gi­ble for pay­ment, work­ers at RCA fa­cil­i­ties in Yi­lan and Hs­inchu were deemed in­el­i­gi­ble for com­pen­sa­tion.

Other fac­tors dis­qual­i­fy­ing work­ers from com­pen­sa­tion in­cluded fail­ure to take legal ac­tion dur­ing the des­ig­nated time frame that was de­cided by RCA’s par­ent firms or fail­ure to take legal ac­tion within two years of a can­cer di­ag­no­sis.

Ex-em­ploy­ees Could End Up

Empty-Handed

De­spite the court’s rul­ing, The As­so­ci­a­tion’s at­tor­ney Joseph Lin ( ) said that it is still pos­si­ble The As­so­ci­a­tion will not col­lect its com­pen­sa­tion, as there are no funds be­ing held in Tai­wan un­der the RCA brand name.

RCA’s par­ent firms closed down its fac­to­ries in 1992, a few years af­ter GE’s takeover of RCA and sub­se­quent sale to Thom­son. In 1994, re­ports of pol­lu­tion caused by the com­pany be­gan to cir­cu­late. By the time The As­so­ci­a­tion held a pro­vi­sional at­tach­ment over the RCA brand, the com­pany had al­ready trans­ferred its funds out of Tai­wan with help from rep­re­sen­ta­tive lawyer Chen Chang-wen ( ), Lin said.

Lin hopes RCA’s par­ent firms will not ap­peal the rul­ing, but choose to dis­cuss fur­ther com­pen­sa­tion mea­sures. Chen, on the other hand, re­sponded by say­ing that a pos­si­ble ap­peal would de­pend on the par­ent com­pa­nies of RCA.

CNA

Ac­tivists cel­e­brate by shout­ing and hold­ing up ban­ners af­ter learn­ing of their victory in the Ra­dio Cor­po­ra­tion of Amer­ica (RCA, ) law­suit, in Taipei, yes­ter­day. One of the na­tion’s largest industrial law­suits came to an end yes­ter­day, with the par­ent firms of RCA sen­tenced to com­pen­sate hun­dreds of for­mer em­ploy­ees to the tune of NT$560 mil­lion.

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