Kaohsiung Councilwoman Seeks to End HSR “Discriminatory” Hiring Practices

councilwoman chen li-na
Councilwoman Chen Li-na (from her Facebook page)

KMT Kaohsiung Councilwoman for District 10 Chen Li-na (陳麗娜) held a press conference today to address concerns over the hiring practices and standards that the High Speed Rail Corporation (HSR) has for maintenance contract workers. Chen called the standards “discriminatory.”

According to the tender policies for contracts, the HSR requires all workers to have “no criminal record or no serious criminal record.” Chen believes that this policy is unconstitutional and called on the HSR to have a social conscience in its hiring practices as the current policy deprives citizens of employment opportunities, Apple Daily reported.

Chen noted that of the 22 public tender offers on the HSR website, none of the jobs requires the contractors to come in contact with passengers or train car equipment, and therefore pose no public safety concern.

She called on the Executive Yuan and Control Yuan to step in and rectify the situation.

The Labor Affairs Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government said that the “Employment Service Law” does not specifically mention rehabilitated felons under its list of discriminatory hiring practices. The bureau added that while the HSR’s policy is unreasonable, it is not illegal. It will consult with the Ministry of Labor to discuss and review the matter.

The HSR responded that its policies are in place to ensure safety and service quality. However, it will re-examine the appropriateness of its policies and consider its social responsibility in the process.

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