Sat, Aug 03, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Kaohsiung labor unions oppose cross-strait service pact
反服貿發聲 大高雄總工會串聯

Members of the Greater Kaohsiung Confederation of Trade Unions and other labor groups hold an explanatory session to voice opposition to the cross-strait service trade pact in Greater Kaohsiung on July 26.
大高雄總工會等勞團團員七月二十六日於高雄舉辦「反對服貿協議」的說明會。

Photo: Huang Liang-chieh, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者黃良傑

President Ma Ying-jeou’s administration signed a cross-strait service trade pact with China in an entirely incoherent fashion and without discussing it with Taiwanese, dealing a heavy blow to approximately 80 percent of the Greater Kaohsiung Confederation of Trade Unions’ members. The move has incited strong opposition among the local working class, who came out on July 25 to voice their opposition to so-called “black-box” tactics used in signing the agreement. The following day the Greater Kaohsiung Confederation of Trade Unions, the Vocational Trade Union Confederation and the Civil Service Trade Union, among others, held an explanatory session titled “Against the Cross-strait Service Trade Pact” to show that the Ma administration’s misgovernment has left the public with no other choice but to rebel.

Greater Kaohsiung Confederation of Labor Unions’ president Chen Chih-ming says, “Of course laborers must rebel when they have nothing to eat.” He is critical of the Ma government’s opaqueness in signing the pact because it will negatively affect around 70 percent of Kaohsiung companies, including beauty parlors, cleaners, print shops, food shops and restaurants, as well as leather shoe dealers, eyeglass shops and watch sellers. They will all suffer a huge influx of Chinese investments, he says. Hired and self-employed laborers will lose their right to work as well as their livelihood, Chen says, adding that signing the pact will be highly beneficial for Chinese investors but not Taiwanese workers.

Su Yu-chih, president of the Kaohsiung Hair Industry Trade Union, says that the pact will hurt both companies and the public. Using the hair salon and beauty parlor industry as an example, Su says that having enough Chinese capital to meet the basic monetary requirement for applying to come to Taiwan makes it a relatively cheap way to immigrate. After entering the country, there will inevitably be numerous franchises opening, using the opening of such businesses as a cover for real estate speculation, keeping laborers and young people from ever being able to afford housing prices and leaving them indefinitely without homes of their own. By contrast, “fake merchants” from China that will spill into Taiwan and covertly emigrate will be able to enjoy the benefits of compulsory education and national health insurance while Taiwanese foot the bill, Su says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. influx n.

湧進;匯集 (yong3 jin4; hui4 ji2)

例: The restaurant has seen an influx of new customers since it got a new chef.

(餐廳換主廚後有新顧客湧入。)

2. foot the bill idiom

負擔費用;會帳 (fu4 dan1 fei4 yong4; hui4 zhang4)

例: When we went out for dinner last night, my mother footed the bill as usual.

(我們昨晚出去吃晚餐,我媽跟往常一樣負擔費用。)

3. animosity n.

敵意 (di2 yi4)

例: Many people still feel animosity toward the Nazis.

(許多人仍然對納粹黨懷有敵意。)


Greater Kaohsiung Confederation of Trade Unions’ secretary-general Shih De-lung says that nearly 80 percent of its members are in the service sector, or more than 50,000 people. Most of the union members who will be affected by the agreement are still in the dark about what the agreement signed by the Ma government means for them, Shih says. He is keen on requiring that the government offer a clear explanation of the pact, particularly as the animosity between China and Taiwan has yet to be reconciled, adding that by opening the telecommunications and finance sectors to Chinese investment it could possibly lead to security issues regarding classified and personal information, harming workers’ rights and putting the public in danger.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

馬政府毫無配套與協商便簽兩岸服貿協議,衝擊大高雄總工會八成會員,引發基層勞工反彈,七月二十五日站出來疾呼反對「黑箱服貿」,二十六日邀集高雄地區產業總工會、職業總工會、公務機關總工會等,召開「反對兩岸服貿協議」說明會,直指馬政府「官逼民反」。

大高雄總工會理事長陳志銘說,「勞工沒飯吃,必然造反」,他抨擊馬政府黑箱簽服貿,造成七成店家受衝擊,包括美髮、洗衣、印刷排版、食品、餐飲業者,連皮鞋店、眼鏡行、鐘錶行等,都面臨被龐大中資打趴,受雇勞工、自營勞工將失去工作權、生存權,簽署服貿最大受益者絕非勞工,而是財團。

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