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Laborers hold grudge over low pay, furlough issue: group

Laborers hold grudge over low pay, furlough issue: group

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) The Taiwan Labor Front (TLF) drew attention to a number of labor issues on Thursday, saying laborers are still holding a grudge against the government for it's inability in dealing with low wages and the furlough issue. Speaking at a press conference held at the Legislature, the group pointed out that workers were also upset by the government's failure to pass laws pertaining to the protection of co-op students and paid parental leave, as well as failing to improve working conditions. TLF Secretary-General Son Yu-lien said the TLF wishes to remind the government that these issues need to be addressed, adding that workers will constitute the majority of votes in the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections. Speaking on the furlough issue, Son said many laborers felt a sense of hopelessness. Citing the example of an engineer who was forced to take unpaid leave and ended up selling items on the street, Son stressed that the case of the engineer was not an isolated one. Company-enforced furloughs are more widespread and have more serious effects than the government knows, he said. Laborers were also concerned by the government's failure to pass an amendment draft of the Gender Equality in Employment Act, which is aimed at loosening criteria on taking paid parental leave. The TLF further said that complaint posts overloaded the Facebook page of President Ma Ying-jeou after the government called off classes for students, but did not give days off for their parents when Typhoon Nanmadol affected Taiwan in August. The situation prompted lawmakers to motion for an amendment draft of the employment act.
However, the draft failed to clear the legislative floor, Son noted. Hung Ching-shu, director of the TLF's Research Center for the Working Poor, said at the press conference that wages for workers in Taiwan are probably the lowest compared with those in South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, but that the government continues to ignore the issue and confuses the public with economic growth figures. Moreover, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Sue-ying, who was also at the press conference, said the government's failure to amend the Labor Safety and Health Act, which has not been amended for more than 20 years, disappointed workers. Laws aimed at protecting co-op students from being abused by their employers also failed to pass the legislative floor, despite several press conferences held to highlight the issue, Huang said.
(By Tseng Ying-yu and Ann Chen)


Updated : 2021-04-17 23:05 GMT+08:00