Mon, Aug 01, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Dismay as holiday rule postponed

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Travel service providers and public transport operators said the Executive Yuan’s decision to postpone the implementation of new labor rules does not resolve the fundamental issues facing the two sectors.

The new regulation, which would have required all workers to have one day off for every six days worked, was originally set to take effect today.

However, the Cabinet on Saturday evening said it has decided to postpone the implementation of the rules for two months, adding that it would give special consideration to certain industries following protests by employers in the travel, media and public transportation industries.

After the Cabinet’s announcement, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train drivers’ association threatened to go on a two-day strike on Sept. 6, saying its members have been working overtime and do not have fixed working hours, adding that the drivers are physically and mentally exhausted after years of chaotic rest schedules and need to rest for the sake of their health.

The association said it would start gathering signatures for their petition from a total of 1,076 train drivers today, adding that an estimated 80 percent of the drivers were expected to agree to their appeal.

TRA Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said the TRA would continue to communicate with members of the association.

Travel Agent Association of ROC (Taiwan) spokesperson Ringo Lee (李奇嶽) said the proposed rule does not work for them.

“How can you ask a tour guide to take a day off after working six days in a row, when most of the outbound tours last longer than 10 days? You cannot tell your members that you have to take a day off,” Lee said.

He added that it is impossible for a tour group to be assigned two tour guides, as it would increase costs and cause personnel shortages.

Postponing the new policy’s launch is a good decision, as many issues remain that need to be discussed first, he said.

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