Labor Ministry vows to assist workers fighting RCA lawsuit
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.