Thu, Mar 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Wholesale market workers required to work today

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Market Administration Office Director Sheu Shyuan-mou, left, and Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

All employees of Taipei’s fruit and vegetable wholesale markets must report for work today, Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said yesterday, adding that an extended auction is to be held in response to plummeting produce prices after the markets were closed for several days.

The Council of Agriculture on Monday attributed the drastic fall in prices to two closures of the city’s fruit and vegetable wholesale markets last month, from Feb. 16 to Feb. 20 and from Feb. 24 to Monday last week, saying that it was the Taipei Market Administration Office that decided the closure dates.

However, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has denied that the office was to blame, saying that it was the result of collective human negligence, including by the council.

Office Director Sheu Shyuan-mou (許玄謀) said that market closure dates are discussed by stakeholders — including the council — between June and August each year.

Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co — which manages the city’s fruit and vegetable wholesale markets — had sent the council an invitation to last year’s meeting, but the council did not send a representative, nor did it propose a new discussion about the market closure dates, Chen said.

Therefore, it is strange for the council to shift the blame to the Taipei City Government, he said.

As the markets are to reopen today, all workers are prohibited from taking the day off and should focus all their efforts on the auction, said Chen, who is also chairman of the firm.

He added that he would help promote sales, encourage farmers to reschedule harvesting and shipping plans, and try to optimize traffic flow near the markets.

“[Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing] general manager Wu Yin-ning (吳音寧), who has avoided the media for days, is expected to come and explain the measures that are relevant to the public and farmers,” Chen said. “People should be brave in shouldering responsibilities when a problem occurs, instead of hiding.”

“The general manager gets all the power, but the chairman has to shoulder all the responsibility,” he said sarcastically, adding that he would leave it to the public to decide whether Wu is suited for the post.

Candidates for general manager are usually recommended by the council and appointed after gaining approval from the board of directors.

Wu was recommended by the council and assumed the position in July last year.

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