Formosa Chemicals workers stage new protest

Employees of Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. (FCFC) staged a new protest in Changhua County on Saturday, demanding the county government allow the company's Changhua plant to extend the operations of its power generators.

The protesters, who totaled about 5,000, were mainly workers from FCFC's Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi plants and their families.

They rallied in front of Changhua County government after marching from the Changhua plant.

A protester surnamed Liao who has worked at FCFC for 28 years said he hoped the county government would treat the workers fairly.

Another protester, surnamed Wang, said both her husband and father-in-law work at FCFC's Changhua plant and that if the plant closed, the whole family would lose its financial lifeline.

The county government has refused to extend operating permits for the plant's three power generators, which expired on Sept. 29, citing failure by the plant to cut back on pollution.

However, Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), one of the largest conglomerates in Taiwan, which owns FCFC, said the Changhua plant has not been fined for excessive pollution since 2010.

FPG accused Changhua county government of forcing the plant to shut down in order to pave the way for an urban planning project.

Worried about losing their jobs, workers from FCFC's Changhua plant have staged several protests against the county government's decision over the past weeks.

The Environmental Protection Administration said on Saturday that it has received an appeal from FCFC which will be processed according to standard procedures.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel