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Business groups call on Legislature to change new labor law amendment

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Groups representing business owners in Taiwan called on the country’s Legislature to change the new labor law amendment (photo: GCC Chairman Lai Cheng...

Groups representing business owners in Taiwan called on the country’s Legislature to change the new labor law amendment (photo: GCC Chairman Lai Cheng... (CNA photo)

Groups representing capitalists and business owners in Taiwan Sunday called on the country’s Legislature to change the new labor law amendment that they said has been badly received by the country’s industry and business sectors as reflected in the survey results they simultaneously released.

The new labor law amendment bans businesses from making their employees work more than six days a week, significantly raises overtime pays and provides for longer annual leave. A total of 735 members responded to the survey, the groups said.

The survey results show that almost half of the respondents intend to raise their prices and over half of them refrain from making their employees work overtime in order to cope with higher operating costs the new labor measures entail. A little more than two thirds of the respondents said they couldn’t accept the overtime regulations, which significantly drive up their costs.

Manufacturers United General Association of Industrial Parks Chairman Chin Chia-hung (秦嘉鴻) said that workers who needed extra money to provide for their families couldn’t have extra income because their companies asked them not to work overtime, and companies refrained from taking big orders as they didn’t have enough labor to handle them, resulting in loss of orders.

The situation was so bad that even foreign businesses had second thoughts about investing in Taiwan and overseas Taiwanese businesspeople wouldn’t want to come back to invest either, he said.

Chin reportedly told reporters that President Tsai Ing-wen had instructed related authorities to make adjustment to the labor law amendment and that former Minister of Labor Kuo Fan-yu was fired because he failed to do so.

Chinese National Federation of Industries Secretary-General Tsai Lien-sheng (蔡練生) said that most of Taiwan’s labor intensive manufacturing-based industries don’t have the leverage to transfer higher operating costs to higher product prices, and therefore they will resort to freezing salaries and cutting bonuses, resulting in lower incomes for their workers.

General Chamber of Commerce Chairman Lai Cheng-i (賴正鎰) said that the government is supposed to make “enforceable law amendments,” but the new labor law amendment, which takes away overtime work opportunities from those who wish to earn extra money, is driving these workers up the wall. Lai said his organization has arranged to meet with lawmakers next month.