Wed, Jul 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

SDP candidate calls on Taipei rivals to support labor bid

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Social Democratic Party Taipei mayoral candidate Fan Yun, second right, yesterday in Taipei urges competing candidates to clarify their stances on a proposed referendum on repealing amendments to the Labor Standards Act.

Photo: Cheng Hung-ta, Taipei Times

Social Democratic Party (SDP) convener and Taipei mayoral candidate Fan Yun (范雲) yesterday urged her rivals to clarify their stance on a referendum proposal put forward by labor groups to repeal controversial labor law amendments that took effect in March, as well as their policy plans for safeguarding labor rights.

A coalition of labor groups on Jan. 31 announced that they would promote a referendum to repeal amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) that were passed on Jan. 10.

The law reduced workers’ overtime pay and rest time between shifts, while increasing the limit for consecutive work days from six to 12.

The SDP not only supports the proposal, but has been helping collect signatures, Fan told a news conference in Taipei.

For the proposed referendum to be held concurrently with the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24, it must gather 281,745 signatures by Tuesday next week.

“According to statistics, up to 85.78 percent of Taipei residents are employed, which exceeds the national average of 79.34 percent,” she said. “However, so far, none of the other candidates in the city’s mayoral race have announced any labor policy plans.”

She called on three other candidates — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) — to sign the petition and to state whether they support three other policy plans she is proposing.

Those policies are: First, companies and organizations that have violated the labor act, Occupational Safety and Health Act (職業安全衛生法) or Act of Gender Equality in Employment (性別工作平等法) in the past three years should be banned from bidding for Taipei City Government projects, she said.

Second, the city government should gradually reduce the percentage of independent contractors it employs, she said.

“As of March, there were 1,943 independent contractors in the Taipei City Government. They are hired on a yearly basis, unprotected by the Labor Standard Act and without pensions,” she added.

Third, the same salary should be given to all city employees with the same duties, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or nationality, within eight years, she said.

The city should lead by example by being a better employer, she said, adding that Taipei should aim to offer the best working conditions in the nation.

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