More working days, less national holidays


The main issue is the 7 holidays being summarily cut and DPP trying to ram this legislation through this year.


MTE. DPP is crap. Whoever had any sort of expectation on them is pretty naive.

[quote=“afterspivak, post:74, topic:87938”]
Btw, the push for workers’ rights (as witnessed by the China Airlines flight attendant industrial action) has come–and will need to come–from below. The change will not come from the top.
[/quote]While I agree that the change will not come from the top, ONE case does not mean the push for workers’ rights has come.


My apologies to Huang. :bowing: I was just taking the news at face value.

And I wasn’t taking a position on the fixed vs. flex issue, but while we’re at it I’d like to suggest that Taiwan consider moving past the one-size-fits-most approach to labor standards, instead adding more industry-specific and job-specific standards. In other words, a step towards the Australian award system (but hopefully not running to so many thousands or millions of pages that it’s like the US tax code i.e. only specialists can figure it out).

That won’t happen though, the way things are going. They need a paradigm shift first. :2cents:


From today’s TT editorial: on the difference between a true 5 day work week and that phony fixed/flexible stuff.

"The Civil Service Act (公務員服務法) clearly stipulates two fixed days off every week, although agencies with special operational requirements are allowed to use rolling work schedules or other solutions.

In other words, civil servants can still get their fixed days off through such special measures.
This system with two fixed days off every week is very different from the system used for workers, who will only have one fixed day and one rest day each week. It means that workers will not get a true five-day workweek. The current solution is just a “pragmatic way” for the ministry to allow employers room to manipulate holidays while still being able to claim they are implementing a five-day workweek. This is why labor and youth organizations are unhappy, as they think that this is a serious blow to an equal holiday system and their right to a healthy life."


If that’s the main benefit, is it worth all the raucous? Besides, independent travelers pays for to local businesses, so 3.5% slack is insignificant.


You’re dead right - independent travellers are far better than tourist bus hordes for the local economy, but there is still lots of room to grow that industry. Of course, transport would have to improve dramatically as well coz people struggle to get train tickets here as it is

In terms of the whole question of work hours reform, yes, of course, it’s just a factor to be weighed, not an over-riding argument by itself

But what are the arguments against having two holidays in a row exactly?


There’s no real arguments, and there’s no real reason to believe that even 19 days mandatory holidays would be a problem for Taiwan’s economy. It would be a problem for some business people, but a boon for others.
That’s what’s so frustrating about all of this.


To follow up on that point, when we have 2 mandatory rest days fixed to the weekends by law, who is going to work in the tourist industry when independent tourists roll in to Hualian and Taidong for the weekends?

Aren’t we just forcing people to break the law at that point?


Just give them Tue+Wed off instead of Sat+Sun.


There are many versions, but your version voids TaidongCouncil’s 2 day weekend argument.

Both the two fixed days and the one fixed one flex days require a worker to have 2 off days per week.

However, even the current 2 fixed day version in the legislature leaves it incredibly unclear whether asking laborer to work on off day would be illegal.

Both these news articles tries to explain it with a chart. Both says it will be illegal to ask the employee to work on an off day, yet both still lists what the employee would get if he/she does work on off day.

The first chart however says even if the employee volunteered to work on off day it would still be illegal, and the employer would have to hire part time.

Why would more part time employees be considered a plus than more full time employees?


Because they are inherently cheaper, as there are no obligations on behalf of the employer -laobao, NHI, double pay for overtime, etc.

That is what they do in the gummit.

Which reminds me of the big loophole of the subcontracted employees.

Moreover, there is the phychological factor: it is a power trip for the bosses. For them, workers are disposable. Right now, they can get away with “forced leave” on their workers. I imagine them salivating at the idea of having people lined up like immigrant day laborer workers at the gate of a California farm, and the boss having their pick of who will have the honor of slaving for them that day.


They still have insurance obligations etc., unless they make it a 委任 system, but that’s increasingly difficult to get away with, legally speaking.


I still haven’t noticed any proposal to fix the two days as Sat+Sun universally. If the point of two day weekends is to promote tourism, your average Taipei office worker going to Taitung for the weekend will meet Taitungese workers whose days off are Tue+Wed or what have you. Making the days inflexible may or may not be a good idea, but it won’t make it illegal to hire people to work Thu-Mon instead of Mon-Fri, unless I’m missing something.


There have been a myriad of versions since last year.

There’s the Executive Yuan’s 多元放假 draft, slashing 7 public holidays, but gives flex holiday so that people choose when to take time off, and adding Aboriginal holidays into law so that they won’t be penalized for attending traditional holidays.

KMT has their own version of 多元放假 draft.

Executive Yuan has its own 一例一休 draft, and many DPP legislators have a small alteration to the Executive Yuan version.

Another DPP legislator 鍾孔炤 had his own 一例一休 draft, which he later withdrew and made his own alterations to the Executive Yuan version, including a whistle blower protection clause.

Another DPP legislator 蔡培慧 has her own 一例一休 draft, which will demand employer to make up an off day if they asked the employee to work on a rest day. This version would be much better than the 2 off day version.

KMT currently has their own 2 off day draft, and NPP also has their own 2 off day draft, and they borrowed 鍾孔炤’s whistle blower protection clause.

That is just what’s happening this year. This is my recap for what happened before:

Ma’s administration officially slashed the 7 public holidays in December of 2014. As previously mentioned, the 7 public holidays weren’t celebrated for 15 years, but Ma cut them officially so adjust for his 80 work-hours every 2 weeks policy. It was in effect on January 1st of 2015.

So when he slashed it, most high-tech businesses that were giving their employees 7 flex off days to offset the not practiced 7 national holidays decided to cancel those 7 flex days as well. At the same time, they adjusted daily work-hour from 8.33 hours to 8 hours.

For these high-tech employees, since they were operating under the system of job responsibility, they were already working over 8.33 hours anyway. So it’s like giving them nothing and taking away that 7 flex days. So understandably, these employees complained, and TSMC was the first to decide to return the 7 flex vacation days. That was immediately followed by almost every single high-tech companies.

Like previously mentioned, those with specialized skills and more bargaining power don’t really need the law’s protection.

So that was KMT’s original version. Since 2014, the KMT then had multiple 1 off day 1 rest day versions that got returned by the DPP for a very specific reason.

If you are interested, read this article to see why the DPP rejected the KMT’s original 1 off day 1 rest day plans, but came up with their own version instead.

Back when CSB pushed for 2 day weekend failed, the KMT and the DPP compromised to push the 84 work-hours per every 2 weeks revision. However, KMT led legislature deliberately left out forbidding employers to change daily work hours. So what the employers did was changing daily work-hours from 8 to 7. That way they can make employees work for 6 days but still fulfill the 84 work-hours every 2 weeks requirement. What happened was laborers had to work for over 8 hours anyway, and they didn’t get the 2nd day off.

When Ma pushed for the 80 work-hours every 2 week revision, their 1 off day 1 rest day plan deliberately left that loop hole open again. That was why the DPP blocked it so that it can be decided in the current session.


Great, so no-one is proposing to make it illegal for the tourism industry (or any industry) to hire people to work full-time Thu-Mon, Fri-Tue, or any other equivalent schedule. :slight_smile:


Well explained, I don’t agree with the fact that we can just let the ‘law of the jungle’ determine who gets holidays , but we’ll researched and written.

Personally I think that if workers could all get a mendatory 20 days minimum per year like some other countries that would be flexible for everybody.
But we know enforcement is a nightmare, many workers wouldn’t be able to take them like America either.


Not even the government employees can take all their days off. That is why they implemented paying people for the days they do not take. However, then people took even less days off. They tried coaxing them into taking vacations by means of the Taiwan card incentives -basically, a sum to spend while on break- but nope, noep, did not work. At leats in our bunker, younger officials work until 9pm most days, weekends, get to pick up people/stuff at the airport at ungodly hours… bosses leave at 7 or 8pm the earliest.

The worst cases of overtime -paid or not paid, still dangerous- are in the professions they really shouldn’t: long haul bus drivers (16 hours shifts) and city bus drivers (12 hour shifts). Doctors, nurses, heavily overworked and underpaid. Doctors die of karoshi the most. Don’t get me started on pilots, plane mechanics and flight attendants. It is against all international conventions.

As to the common workers’ rights, look at the stats: most suicides happen at 60, 70 or 80, especially in summer. The geniuses here get to the conclusion it is because the heat “annoys” them -yeah, right, like the gringo who went to our developing countries and concluded we had too many children because there was no TV. When you have no money for AC and live in a balcony metal cage pigsty, as the heat worsens, and you realize you only have empty plastic bags to eat, can’t work anymore and there is no hope for the future, jumping off the sixth floor is not an annoyance, unless you fall on someone’s street barbecue.


The DPP have lost this generation of youngsters anyway.

Twenty youth activists have charged into DPP headquarters in order to demonstrate planned cuts to public holidays by the Tsai administration.

Note that the first thing they say is that the 7 days off have nothing to do with the 1day or 1 off.

Link below.


“Workers stage hunger strike against planned holiday cuts”

For a Marxist view on the issue see here


Two more ranks to add: Nauseous Legislator and Table Dancing Protester.