The results of a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) poll released on Saturday, which found that 59.7 percent of the public was in favor of proposed amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), clashed with poll results released by the Ministry of Labor on Friday, which showed that 58.4 percent did not support the proposals.
The ministry poll, conducted last month, showed that 58.4 percent of workers felt that the labor policy of one mandatory day off every seven workdays does not need to be adjusted, while only 35.8 percent said they did.
Of the people polled, 26.6 percent said that the limit on overtime work hours, which stands at 46 hours per month, should be changed, while 48.2 percent said that overtime regulations did not need changing.
It showed that 25.2 percent of workers had no opinion on the issue.
Regarding whether there should be any cap at all on monthly overtime hours, 36.5 percent of workers sampled said they were in favor of one, 48.8 percent said no cap was needed and 14.7 percent had no opinion, the poll showed.
However, the DPP poll showed that only 17.9 percent opposed the proposals and a majority said they supported them.
Support for the proposals was evident across party lines, and as nearly 60 percent of respondents support them, the proposals clearly reflect mainstream opinion, the DPP said.
DPP spokesperson Johnny Lin (林琮盛) said the party’s poll showed that public support for changes to the act had not dropped due to the anti-amendment protest held in Taipei on Saturday last week.
More than 53.5 percent of people polled said that the amendments are addressing the different characteristics of different professions and would help smooth out the operation of businesses, Lin said, adding that 30.9 percent of those polled said the amendments could be sacrificing workers’ rights to pander to corporations.
However, after comparing the results with those from polls conducted earlier this month, the party believed that the public has become more convinced that the amendments are proposed with proper motivation, Lin said.
Support for the amendments among people that are 40 to 49-years-old and 50 to 59 years-old stood at 67 percent and 70 percent respectively, Lin said.
Actual public opinion should be publicized in light of the public attention given to the issue, Lin said.
The DPP poll was conducted on Dec. 25 and Dec. 26, has 834 valid samples, a confidence level of 95 percent and 3.4 percentage points margin of error.
The ministry’s poll, conducted in November, relied on 3,135 valid samples, and had confidence level of 95 percent and 1.75 percentage points margin of error.
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