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Taiwan’s teachers union pushes government to proclaim Labor Day a national holiday

Confusing holiday rules cause problems, especially for teachers

(National Federation of Teachers Unions photo)

(National Federation of Teachers Unions photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s National Federation of Teachers Unions (NFTU) on Thursday (May 12) called on the government to make Labor Day (May 1) a national holiday for all people in the country, including teachers.

Federation president Hou Chun-liang (侯俊良) told a news conference Thursday that this year’s Labor Day fell on a Sunday, and all workers who were covered by the Labor Standards Act had the following day (May 2) off as a deferred holiday, CNA reported. However, as teachers are not covered by the labor law, they had to work on May 2 this year.

Hou pointed out that Labor Day is not a holiday for teachers, public servants, and physicians and these professions' exclusion from the holiday has caused many problems, he said. Federation publicity director Lo Te-shui (羅德水) added that the confusing holiday rules have caused inconveniences for many people.

More than 10 million workers in the country have Labor Day off, while nearly a million other wage earners have to work, and this inconsistency has brought about annoyance and controversy. At some schools, temporary workers and contracted workers covered by the Labor Standard Act enjoy their Labor Day off, while public servants and teachers are made to work.

The NFTU said, “Taiwan society has progressed to a point where the Labor Day holiday controversy should be resolved once and for all.” May 1 is also known as International Workers’ Day, and Taiwan should proclaim it a national holiday as other countries in the world have done in order to honor the value and sacredness of labor, the federation added.