Thu, Aug 21, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Labor groups dispute appointment of Chen

By Jason Pan  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Deputy Taipei Mayor Chen Hsiung-wen talks to the press in Taipei yesterday after being named minister of labor.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Taipei City Deputy Mayor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文) was named the new minister of labor yesterday, filling the position vacated by Pan Shih-wei (潘世偉), who resigned from the post last month amid news reports of an inappropriate relationship with his secretary.

The Executive Yuan said Chen is considered an expert in environmental pollution control, administration and industrial policy planning.

Labor organizations were surprised by the appointment, saying that Chen had never dealt with labor issues and that he has no understanding of labor policies.

Prior to becoming deputy mayor, Chen worked in the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and as commissioner of the Taipei City Department of Economic Development, where he was in charge of the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo.

The Taiwan Labor Front issued a statement yesterday saying they were shocked and angry at Chen’s appointment.

“Chen Hsiung-wen’s professional background is in environmental engineering and he has spent most of his career with the EPA and its related bodies. Later he was promoted to the deputy mayor position, but he did not have any dealings with labor and employment issues, or with wage and workplace safety issues,” the group said.

“The Ma administration has now appointed Chen as minister of labor, but he has never been involved in nor cared for labor issues. This appointment is only for disbursing political privileges among the inner circles of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). It totally ignores the rights of all workers in this country, and amounts to a declaration of war on labor groups,” Taiwan Labor Front secretary-general Sun Yu-lien (孫友聯) said.

“We are very doubtful that Chen can handle issues such as low wages, foreign migrant labor, and part-time and contract workers’ conditions. We shall see how Chen conducts next week’s negotiations on the proposal to raise the minimum wage,” Sun added.

The Executive Yuan said it believes Chen will make important contributions to Taiwan’s labor policies and help continue the government’s work in the area.

It said Chen made the list of model civil servants in 1994 and 2002, and received a Sun Yun-suan Foundation award for distinguished service in 2004.

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