Protesters to join hunger strike over holiday cuts

A workers group named “2016 Workers Struggle Against the President” said on Thursday that three more people would join a hunger strike the following day to protest the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) plan to ram through the Legislature an amendment to the labor act cutting the number of national holidays from 19 to 12 per year.

The three — Yuan Chao-wen (袁照雯) and Yao Kuang-tsu (姚光祖) who are labor union officials and Su Cheng-chih (蘇承志), a student — will join the hunger strikers from 2:10 p.m. on Friday, said the group.

Seven union representatives went on hunger strike on Nov. 4 to protest the proposed amendment to the Labor Standards Act; three of them discontinued their hunger strike on Tuesday.

The group said union officials Mao Cheng-fei (毛振飛) and Lan Chih-ming (藍志銘) from Taoyuan, withdrew after 144 hours without food on Thursday.

The amendment, which was forced through at a meeting of the Legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee by a DPP lawmaker on Oct. 5, proposes a five-day workweek with one mandatory day off and one “flexible rest day” and cuts seven national holidays.

The law had previously mandated a maximum of 84 hours work over a two-week period.

The amendment was returned to the committee after a decision made at a coordination meeting between the Legislature’s four party caucuses on Wednesday.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said on Thursday that the committee will hold two meetings and one hearing next week to deliberate the bill.

The opposition New Power Party caucus said the four party caucuses will hold a further coordination meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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