Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT caucus accuses DPP of trying to fool workers

RIGHTS TO REGRESS:The bill is ill-executed, the KMT said, as no penalties have been set for firms that do not seek their employees’ consent before raising overtime quotas

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

From left, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Arthur Chen, Lin Wei-chou and Chiang Wan-an hold a news conference at the legislature in Taipei yesterday to criticize the Executive Yuan’s draft amendment to the Labor Standards Act.

Photo: CNA

The planned relaxation of the labor regulations mandating that employers give employees at least one day off each seven days is the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s attempt to fool workers for a second time and it would see labor rights regress to what they were in the 1980s, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus said yesterday.

Speaking at a news conference at the legislature in Taipei, KMT caucus vice secretary-general Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) — who heads a KMT caucus task force in charge of formulating labor policies — criticized the Ministry of Labor of putting forward an undifferentiated workweek policy without factoring in the needs of different occupations.

The ministry has been unable to justify its “12 on, two off” policy, saying only that there have been calls for it to be implemented without providing statistics to substantiate that claim, Chiang said.

He accused the ministry of abandoning the “one day off in every seven days” principle — which is the basic principle of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) — and pandering to employers, opening up the back door for large companies to exploit their workers.

The fatigue built up by working for 12 consecutive days could have a detrimental effects on workers’ health in the long term, Chiang said.

The draft amendment to the act is ill-executed, as only about 6 percent of workers are union members and no penalties have been set out if employers do not seek their employees’ consent before raising their monthly overtime quota or reducing the break time between shifts, rendering the ministry’s statement that it would tighten its regulation of companies by enforcing those rules a fallacy, he said.

He also challenged Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung’s (徐國勇) remark that a “12 on, two off” policy would allow workers to accumulate more compensatory days off, saying that annual leave is in place to address workers’ needs to go on vacation.

KMT caucus secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said that the draft amendment proposed by the ministry is biased toward employers.

He criticized the DPP of neutering legislative rights by using the the executive branch of government, while urging it to outline the professions in need of a different workweek policy.

“If the Executive Yuan wants to amend the act in this way, it might as well just put one article in the act: Working hours, overtime and the workweek should be decided through negotiations between the Executive Yuan and businesses,” Lin said.

He demanded that the DPP administration apologize to the public, as it has been less than a year since it previously arbitrarily amended the act.

The DPP should not repeat the mistake it made last year, he said.

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