Representatives from various labor unions began a hunger strike Friday in protest against the government's plan to amend the Labor Standards Act to cut seven national holidays.
The protesters said their action will continue until the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration promises not to push the amendment, and they would not rule out the possibility of staging a larger protest if the DPP insisted on pushing the bill through.
The bill, which passed the Legislative Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee on Oct. 5, is likely to clear the legislative floor on Nov. 8.
It would introduce a five-day workweek with one mandatory day off and one "flexible rest day," with the number of national holidays decreasing from 19 to 12, which labor rights groups said went against a previous promise by the DPP to restore seven national holidays.
Before the hunger strike began, the organizer, which called itself "2016 Workers Struggle Against the President," burned a flag bearing the "Light Up Taiwan" logo, which was used by President Tsai Ing-wen (???) during her presidential campaign.
Kuo Kuan-chun (???), a member of the group, accused the DPP of sacrificing workers for the interests of capitalists and questioned the ruling party's promises to "light up Taiwan" and promote reforms in the country.
Besides staging the hunger strike, the group will march around the Legislative Yuan at 8 p.m. every night in protest, according to Lin Po-yi (???), another group member.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel