New Power Party latest to call for referendum on labor law amendment

Taipei-The opposition New Power Party (NPP) is planning to call for a referendum to ask the Legislature to have another review of the controversial newly passed amendment to the Labor Standards Act.

The party wants the referendum to be held on the same day as local elections at the end of this year, making it the latest in a number of groups that have called for a public vote on the amended labor laws.

During a press conference Friday, Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (???), the NPP executive chairman, said the referendum is aimed at "correcting" the amendments to the labor law because of public outcry against it.

According to the party's polls, 52 percent of the public thinks that the amendments have decreased protection for workers in the workplace, while only 17 percent think it has increased protection, NPP lawmaker Hsu Yung-ming (???) noted.

Furthermore, 68 percent of those surveyed want the Legislature to review the amendments once again via a referendum, while 17 percent oppose the idea, Hsu continued.

He said that the polls have strengthened the party's determination to call for a referendum, with the hope that the required signatures -- 1.5 percent of eligible voters (about 280,000 signatures) -- can be obtained by this summer.

The NPP is looking to then hold the referendum on the same day as local elections at the end of the year, which has been tentatively set by the Central Election Commission for Nov. 24.

Earlier Friday, the Social Democratic Party announced its intention to push for a referendum, also at the end of the year, to repeal the labor law amendments.

On Wednesday, several other labor groups called for a referendum, immediately following the passage of the amendments.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel