Some protesters end hunger strike against proposed holiday cuts

Three of seven labor unions representatives on Tuesday ended their hunger strike against a government plan to cut seven holidays from the national calendar.

One of the union members, Kuo Kuan-chun (郭冠均), said the three protesters had discontinued their hunger strike at 7 p.m. Tuesday after 100 hours due to their physical condition and family considerations, but the other four would continue until their demands were met.

He said other protest action would also be taken Wednesday but the details were still under discussion.

Kuo announced earlier in the day that the hunger strike had been discontinued at 12 noon after 93 hours and that 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.

The protesters 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’s 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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