The Ministry of Labor should take a pro-active role in resolving several prominent labor disputes, rights advocates said yesterday, accusing Minister of Labor Lin Mei-chu (林美珠) of failing to take a stronger stand in protecting workers.
More than a dozen protesters affiliated with the TransAsia Airways Union, the Taiwan Railway Union and the Former Freeway Toll Collectors Self-Help Organization gathered outside the ministry in Taipei, shouting that they would give the “green hand” (菜) lessons on their respective causes.
“Green hand” is a homonym of the family name of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is Lin’s cousin.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
“We are here because we know that Lin is a career bureaucrat ... who is not familiar with labor disputes,” Workers Struggle Alliance member Kuo Kuan-chun (郭冠均) said.
“Our hope is that she will not just be the administration’s hired thug, pushing forward its policies,” Kuo added.
The protesters performed a “classroom” skit, with some wearing masks representing Lin, Tsai and Deputy Minister of Labor Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文).
They said the government had ignored its promises to toll workers and railway workers, while shielding TransAsia Airways through the ministry’s inaction.
“On all these issues, what we have seen is that the Ministry of Labor does not have its own stand, and has instead taken the side of employers,” Workers Struggle Alliance member Mao Chen-fei (毛振飛) said.
Mao criticized Lin for saying she respects the stand of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in the controversy over railway union workers taking a protest “holiday” over the Lunar New Year.
“I want to ask the minister what law says that a bankrupt company can wait until after the accounts are settled before paying salaries owed to workers,” TransAsia Airways Union director Wu Chung-hua (吳崇華) said.
While the labor ministry has issued assurances that the airline has set aside funds for workers, payment has been stalled with no clear timetable for negotiations and resolution, Wu said.
The labor ministry reiterated that it would assist in arranging negotiations between TransAsia Airways and the union, while noting that the Taiwan Railway Union workers’ case has already entered independent arbitration.
Funds have already been put aside to pay all toll workers claims, it said, adding that meeting the self-help organization’s demands that payment be denied to non-members of the group would go against society’s expectations.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up