TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Nearly 200 employees at Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) are refusing to work overtime during the upcoming Tomb Sweeping Holiday as part of a protest over reduced salaries.
Speaking to CNA in a phone interview on Friday (March 12), Wu Chun-yi (吳俊義), head of the TRA Union's Yilan Branch, said workers have lost up to NT$9,000 (US$320) a month due to a new work schedule implemented by the Taiwan railway operator in August 2020. He said the change in TRA's shift system has prevented them from receiving overtime pay.
According to Wu, close to 200 union members have signed up to participate in the protest and are planning to take a leave of absence between April 2-4. Since workers are not allowed to work overtime on non-holidays, they should not be asked to work overtime during the holidays, he said.
Wu urged union members across the country to join the protest and protect their own labor rights. He added that a demonstration will be held in Taipei on March 17.
Wu also apologized to the public for any inconvenience the protest may cause. He said the workers are only fighting for their rights, in accordance with the Labor Standards Act.
In response, the TRA said it would continue to negotiate with the union. It hoped the protesting workers would work during the Tomb Sweeping Holiday to ensure normal train services.