The new chair of the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA,
A further reduction to 40 hours a week is expected by the year 2002, Chen said.
President Chen Shui-bian's (
A shorter work week does not mean a reduction in productivity, according to Chen, who claimed that "workers are more efficient when they get sufficient rest."
Chen will also call a meeting in the near future to discuss raising the country's minimum wage, which has not changed for two years.
Meanwhile, Chen said the CLA will reconsider its decision to halt the importation of Filipino workers.
Taiwan suspended the importation of Filipino workers on May 10, claiming that the Manila Economic and Cultural Affairs Office (MECO) was "unreasonably involved in [Taiwan's] domestic affairs" on behalf of Filipino workers in Taiwan.
Chen, a long-time supporter of human rights, said the CLA's previous decision should be re-examined to determine if MECO was acting in the interests of Filipino workers' rights.
Chen also said that Taiwan's system of labor brokers is the source of many of the disputes involving foreign workers, and that the CLA would begin looking at alternative systems of hiring.
At the end of March, foreign workers in Taiwan totaled 301,447. That figure is scheduled to fall by 15,000 this year, Chen said.
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