Service trade workers clueless: DPP

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - Page 1

A survey conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) found that more than 60 percent of workers in the industries covered by the new cross-strait service trade agreement were unaware that their sectors have been liberalized.

The DPP’s poll center surveyed five categories of people in the service industry: business owners, high earning white-collar workers, low earning white-collar workers, high earning blue-collar workers and low earning blue-collar workers.

The poll results are a grave concern, DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) told a press conference yesterday, because 62.6 percent of respondents mistakenly assumed that their industry were not included on the list of 64 Taiwanese industries that would be open to Chinese investments.

Only 24.7 percent of small business owners knew that their industry would be opened to Chinese investments, while 57.6 percent falsely assumed their industry remained protected, the poll showed.

The percentage of those unaware of potential challenges from Chinese investment was surprisingly high, with 58.9 percent of high earning white-collar workers, 58.1 percent of low earning white-collar workers, 70.6 percent of high earning blue-collar workers and 75 percent of low earning blue-collar workers not knowing their sectors would be liberalized.

“It seemed to us that most people in the service trade industry, which accounts for 60 percent of the total workforce, or 5 million people, and more than 70 percent of Taiwan’s GDP, have no idea about the potential impact of the agreement due to the government’s intentional deception and concealment,” Wang said.

Two officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs surprised the DPP by showing up for the news conference to take notes. The pair, both ministry legislative liaison personnel, only identified themselves after being asked by party officials.

“While the DPP has always prided itself on its transparency and accessibility and welcomes communication with the government, we would like to receive prior notice from government officials planning to attend our press conferences,” Wang said.

The DPP survey, conducted from Tuesday to Thursday last week, collected 1,184 valid samples and had a margin of error of 2.91 percentage points.