A group of workers and labor rights advocates yesterday protested against the government’s labor policies in front of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters, urging President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to address issues such as illegal layoffs and a “hostile” work environment.
Chanting slogans and raising placards that read” “Ma Ying-jeou the bumbler,” activists and laid-off workers lashed out at the Council of Labor Affairs for listing a NT$20 million (US$688,000) budget for suing workers over a disputed loan, and said Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, should instruct the KMT legislative caucus to cancel the budget.
“The great KMT Chairman Ma needs to ask the caucus to veto the budget that is used against workers; otherwise, his administration will leave a big stain on the history of labor rights in Taiwan,” they said.
The group also performed a skit, with members donning masks of Ma and other government officials to mock government incompetence, and accused the council of trying to take away their life savings by suing them over disputed loans.
The dispute was sparked about 15 years ago when the company, Hualon Textile, asked employees to accept lower salaries. The workers were then offered an opportunity to transfer to Fung An Textile Co — another textile company run by Hualon — on the condition they first give up all accumulated annuity for retirement payouts. At that time, the council provided retirement payouts to laid-off workers as loans and said the employees would not be asked to repay the money, as it would get the money back from their employer.
The situation worsened last year, when Hualon began to fall into arrears, with some employees being owed months of back wages, leading to protests earlier this year.
The council then filed lawsuits against the more than 400 workers who received the loans, saying it wanted the money back.
Although the council agreed in August to suspend the lawsuits for four months after repeated protests by the workers, and while Pan promised to come up with a solution within a year when he took office early last month, no solution has been forthcoming and the council continues to list a budget for the lawsuit for the next fiscal year.
Ma and the KMT did not respond to the protesters, with Ma presiding over the KMT Central Standing Committee at the headquarters.
The committee yesterday invited National Science Council Minister Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) to present a report on the nation’s technological development, as he called on the government to address a brain drain that is threatening the nation’s economic and technological development.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000