Mon, Jan 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT starts postcard plan against labor law changes

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Postcards issued by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) showing professions that typically demand working long hours are displayed in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Lin Ling-sheng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday launched a series of postcards featuring professions in which overwork is prevalent, as it tried to block amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), which are due to be reviewed in the legislature today, calling on the public to inundate lawmakers and top government agencies with postcards expressing people’s anger.

While the government is shutting out the people through thick barricades and heavy police security, the KMT designed these postcards to let the public vent their anger, KMT spokesman Huang Chien-hao (黃健豪) told a morning news conference in Taipei.

“As the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] administration does not want to listen [to people’s voices] and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has complained about protesters being too loud, we have to resort to the written word and the power of the Internet to let the Tsai administration see our anger,” Huang said.

Huang was referencing Tsai’s remarks in May last year in response to a spate of protests against her administration since her inauguration in May 2016.

Tsai said at the time that protesters should voice their opinions loudly, but they did “not need to keep the volume up after she has heard their voices.”

Huang said the postcards featured the 10 professions that experience the most overwork, including nurses, truck drivers, journalists, engineers, security guards and restaurant staff.

The postcards can be obtained through an online generator or at the KMT’s headquarters, local chapters, or the offices of party lawmakers and local councilors.

The Legislative Yuan is today to review draft amendments to the labor law that would allow certain industries to raise the maximum number of consecutive working days from six to 12 and lower rest time between shifts from 11 hours to eight hours.

The draft amendments have prompted a seemingly endless spate of demonstrations since they were approved by the Executive Yuan in November last year.

Five New Power Party (NPP) lawmakers were yesterday at press time still braving rain and low temperatures as they continued a hunger strike against the draft bill.

The NPP lawmakers on Friday took up positions in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, after a plan to stop the amendments by blocking access to the legislative chamber had failed.

Asked which tactics would be more effective — the NPP’s hunger strike or the KMT’s postcard scheme — Huang said that both approaches shared the same goal, which was to make the DPP administration hear people’s voices and drop its stubborn attitude.

“Both the KMT and the NPP are opposition parties. Different parties have different ways [of expressing their demands],” Huang said. “Some prefer words while others choose swords.”

“However different our approaches are, our shared aim is to see the DPP administration retract the ill-devised labor law amendments,” he said.

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