The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) is facing a boycott by labor groups over its "flexitime" policy, a practice which allows employers to utilize man-hours more economically, but which could also mean more stress and less pay for workers.
While yesterday marked the third month since CLA Chairman Chen Chu (
The Executive Yuan announced in mid-June that it had successfully brokered a consensus between labor groups and industry representatives to have the workweek reduced to 44 hours.
However, on the same day the KMT came up with a proposal to reduce working hours to 84 hours every two weeks. The proposal was successfully pushed through the legislature on June 17.
Industries have protested the change and vigorously lobbied to have the amendment overturned, or to at least be allowed the flexibility to arrange man-hours according to production cycles.
Such an arrangement would allow employers to concentrate work time without breaking the fortnight limitation in cases where they have to rush to meet production deadlines.
In view of strong protests from industrial leaders, the CLA is seeking adjustments that would allow this flexibility without infringing on labor rights. However, it appears little progress will be made as industry and labor groups are apparently far apart over the issue.
The nation's employers say that productivity will suffer serious setbacks when weekly working hours are reduced on Jan. 1 next year. They urged the government to propose modifications to "flexitime" legislation as a way for employers to more economically utilize the diminished man-hours.
But labor groups have condemned the flexitime proposal. They say the measures would allow employers to enforce extended working hours, which could put laborers under extreme stress and deprive them of overtime pay during extended shifts.
The CLA has scheduled three public hearings on the workweek issue, the first on Aug. 30, followed by others on Sept. 4 and Sept. 7.
Chen originally expected that the meetings would be attended by industry and labor leaders, but labor groups yesterday refused Chen's invitations, saying they feel the CLA has tilted its support in favor of employers.
"We oppose any form of conference that the government holds under pressure from the employers. And it's impossible for us labor groups to take part in the CLA's public hearings with preconditions having been laid," said Lin Hui-kuan (
With the boycott by labor groups, Chen decided yesterday to cancel the first public hearing. But she said she will continue to negotiate with the labor groups about their participation in the other two.
At a press conference, Chen mapped out the CLA's plans for the future, which include raising the quality of manpower, ensuring safe working environments and improving the well-being of laborers.
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
TRACING TROUBLE: An infected man who had said that all his children were abroad was found to have a daughter in Kaohsiung who tested positive, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a new daily record of 29 local COVID-19 cases, including seven cases with unknown sources of infection. Of the 29 cases, 16 are linked to tea houses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei. The 16 are tea house workers or visitors, or their contacts, the CECC said. Workers and visitors to the establishments have frequent interpersonal contact, but few protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are in place, Chen said, urging those who have been exposed or have
GRID PROBLEM: A Taipower spokesman said that the blackouts were not due to usage exceeding supply, nor were they because of a problem at the Singda plant There were rolling blackouts across Taiwan yesterday due to a grid malfunction at the Singda Power Plant (興達電廠) in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District (永安), while Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said that it was working “as hard as possible to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” At 2:37pm, a malfunction at an ultra-high-voltage substation in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) triggered four generators at the Singda plant to go offline, cutting power output by 2.2 million kilowatts and prompting Taipower to initiate rolling blackouts nationwide as it worked on the problem. Taipower spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) told a news conference in Taipei that