Ex-toll collectors storm Taiwan's transport ministry

Ex-toll collectors storm Taiwan's transport ministry

TAIPEI - Around 200 former freeway toll collectors yesterday rushed into the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) Headquarters and demanded that the government find better jobs for them.

The MOTC launched a new electronic freeway toll collection system at the end of last year, which caused over 940 freeway toll collectors to lose their jobs. The Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co. (FETC), the company that is in charge of the new system, promised to place all the toll collectors in new jobs.

The self-help organisation of the former toll collectors showed up in front of MOTC Headquarters yesterday to negotiate with the ministry regarding their job rights, but the meeting room could not fit all the members of the self-help organisation, which resulted in physical conflict between them and the police.

The police could not stop all the protesters from rushing into the MOTC hall, and the nearly 200 protestors occupied the first floor of the hall, saying that the MOTC intentionally padded the FETC's pockets.

The protesters also demanded that the head of the MOTC, Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), talk to them directly and solve this problem because they cannot trust the FETC anymore.

According to the MOTC, more than 400 among the 940 former freeway toll collectors who lost their jobs agreed to allow the FETC to find them new jobs, and so far, 194 former freeway toll collectors have found new positions through the FETC.

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