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18 local trains will function in Taiwan May 1 despite union action

Taiwan Railways Administration found 10 drivers willing to work Sunday

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TRA will provide 18 local train services Sunday. 

TRA will provide 18 local train services Sunday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Even though the vast majority of Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) staff will follow their unions' call not to work on Sunday (May 1), 18 local train services will still function, reports said Saturday (April 30).

The TRA said it had found 11 train drivers willing to work Sunday, though one of them had to back out later after being listed as a COVID-19 contact, CNA reported.

According to a list on the TRA website, the special train services to be provided Sunday range from Shulin, New Taipei City, in the north to Chaozhou, Pingtung County, in the south. The earliest local train will leave Changhua at 6:08 a.m. for Taitung, with the latest train departing from Keelung at 7:09 p.m. for Hsinchu.

The authorities nevertheless advised travelers to avoid train services if possible and make use of the additional buses and high-speed trains mobilized to make up for the shortage.

The lack of train services Sunday is the result of the Taiwan Railway Labor Union's (TRLU) demand that its members reject overtime and take one day off to protest a plan to privatize the TRA. While the government plan is a response to several fatal accidents in recent years, the union has said turning the TRA into a state-run corporation will not address the problem.