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.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be
A promotional event for the launch of a drinks store led to police questioning a 26-year-old woman surnamed Chang (張), the Taichung Police Department said yesterday. Police said that they questioned Chang and forwarded the case to prosecutors, accusing her of producing, distributing, broadcasting or selling pornography. Police said she faces charges related to the alleged distribution of indecent photographs on Twitter and using overtly sexual innuendos to promote the store on Monday night. Officers stumbled upon the content during a routine Internet “patrol.” Chang faces a prison sentence of up to two years and up to a NT$90,000 fine if found guilty