Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
The executive branch is facing a wave of setbacks after it announced on Wednesday that it would submit a bill to the legislature to impose a 44-hour workweek.
The proposal would be a retraction of the legislature's decision, approved on June 16, to reduce the workweek to 84 hours in a two-week period from the current 48-hour workweek.
PHOTO: CHEN CHENG-CHANG, TAIPEI TIMES
The measure was set to take effect Jan. 1.
"I understand it is a pressing issue, in terms of the time frame. However, the ruling party should seek communication and understanding from the opposition lawmakers and labor groups before embarking on the revision of the [Labor Standards Law]," Wang said.
"The key is to seek a harmonious relationship between the two sides," Wang said.
Executive can only blame itself if revision rejected
"The Executive Yuan should make adjustments concerning how it deals with controversial issues, otherwise the ruling party can only blame itself if the revision were to be rejected in the Legislative Yuan."
Wang made the statements before his meeting with Secretary-General to the premier Chiou I-jen (
Wang, a vice chairman of the KMT, also made public his party's suggestion that the DPP drop its campaign promise, which says the workweek hours will be shortened to 40 in the year of 2002.
Responding to Wang's suggestion, Chiou said that it was too early to say what would happen in 2002.
"The economic landscape will be different in 2002. It is, therefore, too early to jump to any conclusions as to which policy should be implemented at that time," Chiou said.
Chiou defends premier's policy
In the meantime, Chiou seized the chance to defend Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (
Critics have said that the plan is unfair to labor groups and accused Chang of sacrificing the welfare of workers in order to boost the troubled economy and in an attempt to reduce the exodus of industries.
"Since Premier Chang took office, he has come up with up to 15 projects to cope with the financial and economic difficulties, such as lowering the business tax and offering NT$450 billion in loans for small and medium-sized industries. To make an amendment of the Labor Standards Law is just one of these projects," Chiou said.
In addition, Wang made his concern known about the time constraints.
"Industries have to fully prepare themselves for any change in policies," Wang said.
"If agreement cannot be reached by mid-December so that the legislation can be completed by the end of December, it will be impossible to reverse the current regulation -- an 84 hour fortnight," Wang said.
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