Why is nobody talking about the labour protests?


#42

JM Cole and other foreign cheerleaders for the DPP/civil society protests when the KMT was in power are now completely silent …


#43

LOL yes. Thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy of J. Michael Cole. Doesn’t help that his wife works for the DPP!


#44

That’s one person. There are plenty of those who supported the 2014 protests but didn’t necessarily voted for the NPP in the 2016 election that are voicing their concern.

I’ve actually heard from many people who bought the excuses of “people need to do overtime to make ends meet” and “young people are too soft these days, back in the days we don’t get overtime.”

They are concerned that by not putting out an united front, KMT will get back into power and weekend the chance of gaining independence.

However, I think it’s DPP who abandoned the workers and as such turned their backs on an united front. If anyone is hurting the cause of independence by disenfranchising the youth, it’s the DPP.


#45

Icky.

The amendment to the Labor Standards Act will come into effect on March 1.

The revisions to the labor law, drafted by the Executive Yuan shortly after Premier William Lai (賴清德) took power in November, have received resistance from labor unions, NGOs, and lawmakers of both the ruling and opposition parties.

Opponents of the revisions said the legislation would undermine labor rights and worsen the working conditions in Taiwan, which were characterized as overwork and low pay.

In the lengthy session lasting from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning, lawmakers from each party still had not reached an agreement over controversial articles. However, the amendment was passed as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party had the majority of seats in the Legislative Yuan.

The second reading of the amendment was passed around 02:30 a.m. Wednesday, followed by the third reading at 08:44 a.m.

According to the legislation, laws passed after the second reading cannot be modified drastically except for wording, unless they are found to contradict other laws or the Constitution.


#46

Looks like Taiwan is finally developing an American-style bought-and-paid-for uniparty.


#47

Is there a way to find out the number of ayes and nays, and a breakdown by party, and so on?


#48

A lot of the service sector business owners and workers were against the mandatory 1 day off and almost double the overtime pay amendment.

For the workers, they are paid 200/hr for a job that’s really worth 300/hr. The overtime is the only way they can make ends meet. That overtime pay doesn’t have to be double, it only has to be 1.3 times the original pay for them to work 16 hours over time a week to get to an equivalent salary of 300/hr for 42 hour work week, which would be 50,400 NTD per month.

With the DPP’s first amendment, now the business owner would rather take an extra day off, instead of paying double for overtime, or they would hire a temp for the extra day. So the worker really is only making 200/hr for 42 hour work week, which would be 33,600 NTD per month.

This wouldn’t be a problem if the workers can just leave and find a new job that would pay 300/hr. Sadly, most workers in this situation also doesn’t have the skill to find another job that would pay 300/hr. At least not in the time it takes for the market to balance itself out, and they really can’t afford to not bring home any money.

So instead of penalizing the owners for extorting the workers, it ended up penalizing both.

So is there reason to do something to resolve worker’s immediate problems? Probably yes.

However, the DPP’s new amendment doesn’t really solve the root cause of the problem, which is people are being underpaid in Taiwan. It simply defaults back to the old rule, and instead forces owners to pay for unused holidays.

By doing so, Taiwan’s pay will continue to lag behind other Asian countries and the talent drain will continue if not worsen.

In the short run it appears as a way to solve immediate problems of the extorted workers. In the long run the country is doomed.

That’s why NPP is now pushing for a raising minimum wage referendum, which aims to resolve the issue at its root. We can only wait to see how informed people are.


#49

Also cut 7 days national holiday in the first amendment. That seems to be getting lost in the mess as well. Even Taiwanese who are not necessarily underpaid, or still overworked. I couldnt imagine another developed country even try something like that in one full swoop.

I have heard Taiwanese say “yeah but we never had this holidays before”, which is just depressing to me. Embodiment of the 奴性 (slave) mentality you keep hearing talked about it.


#50

Technically, it isn’t. It’s now not national holidays but personal holidays. The new amendment made sure if the holiday goes unused, the worker will be paid for that work time.

The new amendment basically is sacrificing workers’ health by paying them money. The old KMT version, many workers don’t get those days off either, and their unused holidays just go unpaid.


#51

So workers haVe 7 more personal holiday days ?


#52

I think they are counting on people to die early, and not to have to pay for retirement. However, it may be shooting themselves in the foot, as work injuries cause people to drop or be dropped from the workforce…and must rely on State funds for substenance.

Not to mention increased smart automation putting thousands unemployed. This is looking really grim.


#53

I go for stupid and greedy.
Dinosaurs no matter green or blue. Place needs some young people to manage it.


#55

SME model? The trend here over the last decade or so has more closely followed South Korea’s chaebol model with concentration in large powerhouses.


#56

The talk has been about supporting Taiwan’s hordes of family owned SME’s. Especially in the South and Center. They are the worst offenders and the ones that are struggling the most. Taiwan was built on SME’s so the government wants to keep them afloat by providing cut-price labor.


#57

The only way these businesses can change is also the most turbulent for Taiwan in the current climate with China flexing their strength in economic prowess. It’s to let them finally fail. I’ve talked about my fathers company was trading around 60-70 a share back in the 2000s and some early 2010-2012. Now it’s down to 11$. It was one the most profitable and successful businesses in Taiwan, listed in the top 100. They did it by what others already said. Cheap labor, overtime and they happen to be in the right market with still not many competitors. Now their share of the market has shrunk and they thought they could operate on the same model forever and they’re failing. They don’t invest in real RnD and they don’t market or even have a good website like others posted out. And they prevent actually good and innovated businesses to grow because they can always pay people less and make them work more no matter how much limited innovation a smaller company tries, they can’t out match their bottom line.

Their failures are inevitable, dragging it on longer for those few on the very top is just harmful to Taiwan. And something most people don’t know is these businesses often have a huge amount of debt to the banks in Taiwan.


#58

Those companies usually employ hundreds of labourers I wonder are they really SMEs?

IMEI hires over 500 Filipinos alone at one time, it’s not a good trend for local blue collars to be honest.


#59

I have no idea how Taiwan qualifies 中小企業。 Government keeps saying they need help though


#60

“Under the new amendments, employees can be asked to work 12 days in a row and to work shifts with only eight hours of rest in between, pending approval from the relevant government agencies.“ —

Huh? 30-60 min to get home, shower, eat, relax…sleep 4-5 hours…1 hour to get ready get to work…12 days in a row!

Or am I reading this wrong? If not…watch out boys and girls these roads are going to be EVEN worse with hordes of tired stressed out drivers speeding to catch their shifts


#61

I don’t think they can do 12 days in a row with only 1 day off. To get 12 days in a row, the worker needs to take the rest day of both weeks back to back.

Of course, everything is subjected to “labor-captial negotiations”, so a worker with low mobility can basically be coerced into agreeing with anything.


#62

If they can be coherced into taking vacatins without pay, which is SOP in Taiwan industry, they can just do anything.