The Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions (TCTU, 全國產業總工會) called again yesterday for the incoming administration of president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to cut the working week from 42 hours to fewer than 40 hours.
Local employees work an average of 2,170 hours annually, a TCTU spokesman said, adding that although lower than South Korea’s 2,305 hours, the figure is much higher than Mexico’s 1,883 hours, the US’ 1,804 hours and Italy’s 1,800 hours.
In terms of work hours per week, the spokesman said that the nation’s average working week was 41.6 hours in 2006, far more than Germany’s 38.2 hours, Japan’s 35 hours, the US’ 33.9 hours and Canada’s 31.7 hours, and lower only than South Korea’s 44.2 hours and Singapore’s 46.2 hours.
Noting that local laborers expect overall domestic working conditions to be improved after the inauguration of the new government, the spokesman said excessively long work hours have an adverse effect on laborers’ heath and lives.
“Domestic laborers are hopeful that the working week will be reduced from 42 hours to fewer than 40 hours so that they can have adequate time off to pursue a high-quality life,” the spokesman said.
The Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Labor Standards Act in June 2000 that cut the maximum working week from 48 hours to 42 hours per week over a two-week period, with effect from Jan. 1, 2001.