Nantou County Commissioner Lin Ming-chen, second right, yesterday criticizes the five-day workweek policy at a news conference held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus in Taipei.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Nantou County Commissioner Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) yesterday criticized the amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), saying he was being blamed by business owners for the changes implemented by the central government.
Lin traveled to Taipei to attend a news conference held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus and criticized the government for “passing the buck” to local governments when it came to dealing with the amendments’ repercussions.
The commissioner said his proposal to stop implementing the “evil law” of “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day,” which he claims has made the public and businesses suffer, was a reflection of what the grassroots wanted.
“The Ministry of Labor has three inspectors in Nantou and they refer any breaches they find to the county government so that it can mete out penalties. Business owners do not blame President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) or Premier Lin Chuan (林全), but me,” Lin Ming-chen said, adding that he has been scolded by factory owners several times and therefore had to stand up to express his “true feelings.”
Many in the manufacturing industry have complained to him that they were afraid of accepting orders for fear of delayed shipments, Lin Ming-chen said.
The tourism industry, with the number of tourists already reduced to one-third of its peak, would suffer even more, he added.
KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) criticized the new policy for lacking flexibility and called on the Democratic Progressive Party government to launch an amendment process.
KMT legislators Lu Yu-lin (呂玉玲) and Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) said “nobody benefits from the policy” and the government, which forced through the amendments without considering measures to deal with possible disputes, should be held accountable.
Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said it is “absurd” to see the KMT protest the “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day” policy and accuse it of hurting businesses, as the former ruling party had proposed implementing “two fixed days off” each week and even occupied the Legislative Yuan’s committee podium to promote its proposal.
“The KMT is contradicting what it had stood for and is merely parroting business leaders’ complaints about the new labor law, which shows that the ‘pro-labor’ slogans it championed were purely a political stunt,” the SDP said.