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.
The chief mechanic in an air force unit from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing last week died on Sunday evening in what might have been a suicide, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The ministry in a statement confirmed media reports that the mechanic, surnamed Huang (黃), “hurt himself” at a military barracks. Huang was taken to Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the barracks, but doctors could not revive him, the ministry said. Huang served in the 26th Tactical Fighter Group of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, the same unit as the missing
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on
NON-TYPICAL: Apart from Atsani, storms in autumn missed Taiwan, rainfall has been lower and average temperatures have been higher, a CWB forecaster said The current water shortage is expected to worsen in the next few months, with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday forecasting a colder, dryer winter than normal. With winter starting next week, the bureau at a media briefing outlined the expected conditions through February and reviewed autumn’s significant weather events. Weather Forecast Center director Lu Kuo-cheng (呂國臣) said that autumn this year had three major characteristics: First, 13 tropical storms and typhoons formed from September to this month, up from 11 in the same period last year, Lu said. Apart from Atsani, for which sea and land alerts were issued in Taiwan, the tropical
The US’ inclusion of Taiwan in its Indo-Pacific Strategy is geared toward weakening Beijing’s influence in Southeast Asia, as well as providing a Blue Dot Network to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a senior Executive Yuan member said yesterday. Taiwan and the US would be seeking further collaboration on infrastructure construction and energy, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The US and Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding on the Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure, Finance and Market Cooperation on Sept. 17, which would see the Ministry of Finance and the US Department of the Treasury establishing respective task