La­bor Min­istry vows to as­sist work­ers fight­ing RCA law­suit

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Tai­wan’s Min­istry of La­bor stated on Tues­day that it will as­sist claimants against U.S.-based Ra­dio Cor­po­ra­tion of Amer­ica (RCA) in their law­suit against their for­mer em­ployer. The min­istry is of­fer­ing to pro­vide free can­cer screen­ings to any for­mer em­ployee of the com­pany.

For­mer em­ploy­ees won a decades-long law­suit in April, with the Taipei Dis­trict Court order­ing RCA and four other com­pa­nies to pay NT$560 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion for their us­age of car­cino­genic in­gre­di­ents in­clud­ing trichloroethane, trichloroethy­lene, tetra­chloroethene and di­chloro­meth­ane.

The RCA fac­tory in Taoyuan had dumped the chem­i­cals in deep holes which sub­se­quently pol­luted the soil and sur­round­ing un­der­ground wa­ter sup­ply in the re­gion. 61 em­ploy­ees died of can­cer, while an­other 243 are suf­fer­ing from can­cer in­duced by the chem­i­cals. An­other 141 em­ploy­ees suf­fer from other non-can­cer re­lated con­di­tions.

The lawyer who rep­re­sented the first law­suit against RCA had pre­vi­ously urged the gov­ern­ment to claim dam­ages from RCA. The 2004 law­suit sought com­pen­sa­tion of NT$2.7 bil­lion. The com­pany op­er­ated fac­to­ries in North­ern Tai­wan in­clud­ing Taoyuan, Hs­inchu and Yi­lan in the 1970s un­til 1992 when the last plant was closed.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry, 37,000 for­mer em­ploy­ees of RCA who wish to file a law­suit can call a hot­line to ap­ply for legal as­sis­tance must call the fol­low­ing hot­line be­fore June 19: (03) 3369885 or (03)3367791.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the can­cer screen­ings pro­vided by the Min­istry of La­bor, please visit www.ilosh.gov.tw or call (02)2652-7695 be­fore the end of Au­gust.

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