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Taiwan railway union cancels Dragon Boat Festival action

Union notes progress in talks with MOTC, MOL

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Trains are expected to operate as usual during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.  

Trains are expected to operate as usual during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.   (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Railway Labor Union (TRLU) announced Wednesday (May 25) it was canceling its plan for an overtime ban during the June 3-5 Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

On May 1 (Labor Day), a vast majority of Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) staff did not turn up for work in a protest move against government 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 that day, while a minimum service of 18 TRA trains still operated.

The TRLU at the time said it would prepare similar actions for later holidays, including the Dragon Boat Festival. However, a union meeting Wednesday decided to cancel those plans because the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and the Ministry of Labor (MOL) had given positive responses to its demands during a nine-hour marathon meeting last week, the Liberty Times reported.

Even though there were a range of divergent opinions within the membership, the union said it decided that a ban on overtime during next month’s holiday would only damage its reputation. It will look to the government’s future attitude whether there would be overtime bans during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Double Ten National Day, and on election day, Nov. 26, union officials said.

Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) welcomed the decision, describing it as a “good start” for a rational discussion about the future of the railways.