After months of negotiations with government officials, the Taiwan Railway Labor Union (TRLU) yesterday officially announced the cancellation of a seven-day strike that had been slated to take place during the Lunar New Year.
\n"They didn't completely meet all our requests, but some things cannot be accomplished by the union alone. I just hope the government keeps its promises," said the union's president, Chen Han-ching (陳漢卿), after a three-hour union meeting yesterday afternoon.
\nThe union had presented five demands to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications earlier this year and voted to strike if the ministry failed to satisfactorily meet these demands.
\nAt the top of its list was a request that the government halt plans to privatize and corporatize the Taiwan Railway Administration. The union has now accepted the government's promise that it would not pass any legislation regarding the corporatization of the railway administration without the TRLU's approval.
\nBoth parties have agreed that the schedule for the privatization of the railway administration will be revised after further discussion. The ministry has agreed to take the union's perspectives into account when redrafting privatization policies.
\nFurthermore, the ministry said in an official statement that it would assume all of the railway administration's debts, an amount estimated at NT$1.8 trillion. The ministry will also subsidize debt-ridden stations on unprofitable railway lines, disability and senior discount tickets, and infrastructure maintenance expenses.
\nThe government has vowed that the Taiwan Railway Administration Organic Law (
PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES
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