Everybody's fighting for the weekend: Brawl breaks out over labor law

KMT and DPP legislators battle it out over proposed modifications to workweek rules

KMT and DPP legislators battle over workweek.

KMT and DPP legislators battle over workweek. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Before the proposed modifications to the workweek reforms could undergo a first reading today (Nov. 17), Kuomintang (KMT) legislators occupied the podium, leading to dramatic scuffles between members of Taiwan's two major political parties. 

At 9:25 a.m. this morning, just before the first reading of the proposed amendments to the recently changed workweek rules could take place, 10 KMT legislators occupied the podium, halting proceedings. At 11 a.m, as their patience started to wear thin, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators stormed the podium, leading to jostling, shoving, grappling, and striking, which dragged on for 25 minutes. 

Despite the disruptions, the amended law still survived through today's proceedings and will continue through the legislative process. 

The workweek rules (一例一休) formally known as the Labor Standards Act, having barely into effect less than a year ago in December of 2016, are being modified after complaints from some local business associations the existing workweek rules were not suited to their sector.

The new version of the law will allow flexible work-time arrangements and expand maximum overtime hours from 46 to 54, but on the condition that no more than 138 hours of overtime can be worked over the course of three months. Other major changes in the Cabinet’s announcement of the amendment includes conditionally allowing employees to work 12 days in a row once they take a mandatory day off either side of the 12-day period, with no more than eight hours of work allowed per day.

(CNA Image)

(CNA image)