Hunger strike against proposed holiday cuts ends after 93 hours

Seven representatives of various labor unions on Tuesday ended a hunger strike that they had started Nov. 4 in protest against a government plan to cut seven holidays from the national calendar.

One of the union members, Kuo Kuan-chun (郭冠均), said that although the hunger strike had been discontinued at 12 noon Tuesday after 93 hours, other protest action will be taken Wednesday but the details were still under discussion.

The seven union representatives launched the hunger strike on Nov. 4 against a proposed amendment to the Labor Standards Act that would reduce the number of national holidays from 19 to 12 per year.

The amendment bill, which cleared the legislative Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee on Oct. 5, proposes a five-day workweek with one mandatory day off and one “flexible rest day.”

Labor rights groups, however, have argued that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is reneging on its promise not to remove the seven holidays from the national calendar.

On Tuesday morning, the seven union representatives and other protesters marched around the Legislative Yuan and tried to enter the complex but were stopped by security personnel and police.

They then staged a sit-in near the side gate of the complex until they learned that the legislative caucuses had reached a consensus to convene a session Wednesday to review the committee processing of the amendment bill and to hold a public hearing on the issue Nov. 15.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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