Labor activists said they would march on the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) building this week to protest the council’s inability to help middle-aged and elderly workers find jobs.
Su Chen (蘇諍), convener of the Association of the Human Rights of the Jobless, said the association would call on labor groups and workers to gather in front of the CLA building and demand that Council Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) step down to take responsibility for the deteriorating job situation for middle-aged and elderly workers.
The association cited statistics that showed the number of middle-aged and elderly jobless workers stood at 70,000 in October, but had climbed to 140,000 in May.
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said 633,000 people were unemployed in May, of whom 22 percent were middle-aged or elderly.
The association said the numbers showed that the council had been ineffective in helping older workers find jobs.
“The quickly rising number of older people without work shows that the council is not fulfilling its duties,” Su said.
“It has also stubbornly rejected suggestions to improve the situation from labor groups,” Su said.
“All this shows is that it is time for [Wang] to step down,” Su added.
Su said the council’s program to provide on-the-job training for older workers had failed to help them develop effective job skills, while short-term jobs in government agencies had resulted in older workers being prejudiced against and unable to find employment after the short-term job offers expired.
The association called on the council to provide subsidies for businesses that hire older workers to increase the incentive for creating such positions, similar to current government subsidies for businesses that hire new graduates to help them find jobs as they enter the job market.