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20 Apr 2015

Taiwan Today

Ex-RCA employees win Taiwan workplace lawsuit

A landmark verdict awarding NT$560 million (US$17.97 million) in damages for workplace health and safety violations to…former Radio Corporation of America employees in Taiwan was handed down April 17 by Taipei District Court.

The court ruled that the now-defunct…electronics manufacturer allowed toxic chemical waste to impact the health of its workers…This allegedly caused more than 2,000 individuals to develop cancer and claimed 260 lives.

Launched in 2004, the action sought damages of NT$2.7 billion from RCA, General Electronics Co. and Thomson Consumer Electronics. The court exonerated GE from any responsibility.

RCA operated in northern Taiwan from 1970 to 1992, with major facilities in Hsinchu County and Taoyuan City employing…thousands of workers and producing television sets and various consumer electronics.

The Taoyuan facility was taken over by GE in 1986 and later purchased by… Technicolor SA. The France-based firm shuttered the plant in 1992 and sold the property to a local real estate developer.

Former Legislator Chao Shao-kang brought the situation to light in 1994, and four years later the Environmental Protection Administration declared the site unfit for real estate development after confirming ground water contamination. A Cabinet-level task force was organized in 1999 to investigate the case, but later disbanded…