Dozens of unemployed people and their children staged a demonstration on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office yesterday, urging President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his administration to help the jobless find employment.
“Being jobless is not just a problem for the unemployed worker, it also affects their circle of friends and their families,” Hsiao Chung-han (蕭忠漢) of the Association for Rights of the Unemployed told the demonstrators, many of whom held placards showing images of Ma above the words “feel the pain of the people.”
Huang Yao-hung (黃耀宏), 58, was one of the protesters.
Huang, from Taichung, used to work for a machinery manufacturer, but lost his job when the company moved its factory to China several years ago.
“Now I only work low-paying part-time jobs, but I have five kids to feed — all college students,” Huang said, adding that he needed to spend more than NT$100,000 on tuition fees for his children twice a year.
“All I want is for the government to help me find a stable job,” he said.
Another protester, Liao Mei-jung (廖美蓉), whose husband was laid off when Chunghwa Telecom was privatized several years ago, agreed.
“Social welfare resources should be spent on taking care of those who can’t work,” Liao said. “Since we’re still capable of working, providing job opportunities for us should be the priority.”
Aside from economic pressure, she said, “the psychological pressure [of being jobless] is the most troubling.”
In addition to offering help with finding stable employment, the demonstrators said the president should fulfill his campaign promise of extending the period of time an unemployed person is eligible to receive unemployment benefits from six months to one year.
They urged Ma to set up an unemployment rights commission under the Presidential Office “to periodically check employment promotion policies,” Hsiao said.
The demonstrators’ request to meet officials from the Presidential Office was not met yesterday as it was a weekend day.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by