Bo-Yi Lee 0

Stand With Workers in Taiwan!

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We sign this petition out of deep concern for a recent bill to amend the Labour Standard Act introduced by Taiwanese government in November 2017.

We understand that the bill is a sincere effort to stimulate economic viability. However, we also regretfully learn that its passage will legalise twelve consecutive working days, approve up to fifty-four hours of monthly overwork, allow eight hours of minimum rest time between shifts, and lower the calculation basis of overwork payment on rest days.

The long-established standard that workers are entitled to a day off each week and eleven-hour rest a day (ILO Convention Nos. 14 and 106, the European Working Time Directive) has been honoured by the Labour Standard Act. The proposed bill, however, softens the standard without substantial reservations.

Excessively long working hours will harm safety and health of workers. The devastating consequences affect all; but the worst-off --the unorganised, the young and the poorly paid-- are hit hardest. As Taiwan’s union base is weak, and working time long, it is particularly worrisome that workers are left unprotected by the law. This bill hence provoked protests of unions, student organisations and the general public; we stand in solidarity with them.

Taiwan has proven itself a vibrant participant in the global economy, full of creativity and innovation. Its people deserve decent working conditions. We thus urge Taiwanese government to repeal the bill, avoiding the trap of race to the bottom.

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