Holiday work essential for stable rail services: minister | So Good News


  • By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

Railway workers will still have to take turns working on national holidays after the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) transfers to the state-owned Taiwan Railway Corp in 2024 to ensure reliable services, Transport and Communications Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday .

Wang made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s transportation committee, which was to review budget plans for the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Taoyuan International Airport Corp and the Civil Aviation Operation Fund for the next fiscal year.

New Power Party lawmaker Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷) asked about the progress the ministry has made in negotiations with the Taiwan Railway Labor Union and the Taiwan Railway Union over 16 support drafts rules of the state-run Taiwan Railways Corporation Act (國營台灣鐵路股作有限公司梦條條例), which the legislature passed in May.

Photo: CNA

Taiwan Railway Labor on Friday accused the ministry of betraying trust by announcing the support rules without reaching a consensus with the union first.

It also accused the ministry of violating the Labor Standards Act (勞動小明法) by stipulating in the support rules that workers must continue to work different shifts during national holidays.

The regulations could limit TRA workers’ rights to arrange work days and holidays, and reduce their overtime pay on national holidays, Chen said.

Wang said the draft rules are still in an “advance notice” state under the Administrative Procedures Law (行政方法法), which means the government tells the public that the draft rules are under review.

“We have shortened the advance notice to three days, because all central members of the trade unions have reviewed the draft rules. We also want to finalize all support rules by the end of this year, without which we cannot make a budget plan for the next fiscal year, he said, adding that the rules mainly apply to TRA employees, not the general public.

“We have agreed not to formally announce the aid rules without reaching agreement on outstanding issues first,” he said. – We are willing to adjust the advance notice if the unions believe the period is too short.

TRA workers already knew they would be required to work different shifts and take turns working on national holidays, Wang said.

“I certainly respect the unions if they follow legal procedures to go on strike. But refusing to work on public holidays will destabilize the public transport system and we need to set some limits here. Otherwise, TRA will never maintain stable operations, he said.

Earlier this year, the Taiwan Railway Labor Union asked its members to take International Workers’ Day off in protest against the ministry’s plan to corporatize the TRA.

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