2018 ELECTIONS: Subsidy agreement staves off rail strike

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Nov 23, 2018 - Page 3

The National Train Drivers’ Association yesterday agreed not to strike on election day after the Ministry of Transportation and Communications resumed subsidies for conductors.

Union members originally planned to take tomorrow off to protest the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) decision to suspend subsidy payments for train conductors when they are required to spend the night out of town or on standby.

The TRA said that the way it used to pay subsidies did not meet the requirements stipulated by the rules governing the payment of subsidies to teachers, military personnel and government officials.

As such, the Executive Yuan must approve its new subsidy scheme before it resumes payments, the agency said.

The decision to suspend subsidy payments has upset conductors, who threatened to strike on election day.

As the move would seriously affect people heading home to vote, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) yesterday morning met with TRA officials to resolve the crisis after a Cabinet meeting.

The agency is to resume paying subsidies to conductors, the ministry said, adding that it could complete due process later.

Meanwhile, the TRA said that 93 additional trains would be dispatched to transport voters.

From tomorrow to Monday, people can buy tickets for Taroko Express and Puyuma Express trains with no reserved seats, the agency said, adding that the number of unreserved tickets would be limited to 120 per express train.