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Taiwan railway union plans overtime ban for Dragon Boat Festival

Talks with MOTC and MOL could still avert union action

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90% of train union members reportedly want an overtime ban for the Dragon Boat Festival. 

90% of train union members reportedly want an overtime ban for the Dragon Boat Festival.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Railway Labor Union (TRLU) said Wednesday (May 18) that 90% of its members had signed a call for an overtime ban during the June 3-5 Dragon Boat Festival holiday, though it hopes talks with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) might avert the action.

On May 1, the vast majority of Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) staff did not turn up for work in an action targeting MOTC plans to turn the TRA into a state corporation as a response to a string of fatal accidents. Extra bus and high-speed rail services were organized to meet the demand from travelers, while a minimum service of 18 TRA trains still operated.

At the time, the TRLU said it intended to launch similar actions on other public holidays this year, such as the Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Double Ten Day, and on Nov. 26, the day of regional and local elections.

The union was still counting the number of members who had signed the latest petition, but officials estimated it to be 90% of their total membership, and more train drivers had signed up than for the May 1 action, CNA reported.

The figures mean that even fewer trains may be running than during the minimal service provided on May 1. However, union leaders said they would soon sit down for talks with the MOTC and with the Ministry of Labor (MOL). They expressed the hope that the petition would only serve as a backup measure and would not need to be used.