Alliance threatens to paralyze MRT on New Year's Eve
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National Alliance for Workers of Closed Plants yesterday threatened to paralyze the operation of the mass rapid transit systems in Taipei during the New Year's Eve if the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) fails to drop the lawsuits against workers unable to repay labor loans.
December 30, 2012, 12:11 am TWN
The alliance issued the threat at MRT's Taipei Main Station, and members also expressed their apology to MRT passengers.
Wearing masks, Alliance members sat on a street opposite to a seminar site in Taipei, where President Ma Ying-jeou shed light on the government's reform plan of the labor annuity system.
Angry protesters shouted out their request for Ma to assume the responsibility for “making workers become beggars,” accusing the government of taking actions against the disadvantaged workers.
An alliance spokesman said that what they strived for is “social justice.” He said that the government did nothing about a series of malicious plant closures by local enterprises 16 years ago, but the Legislative Yuan has recently approved a proposal to scrap all the labor retirement pension reserves those enterprises should appropriate under the new pension system. The CLA has filed lawsuits against several former workers of the closed plants, pressing them to repay loans granted by the Labor Insurance Bureau.
The spokesman said that the alliance has repeatedly called on the president to instruct the CLA to withdraw the lawsuits and stop retrieving the unpaid labor loans, which workers of the closed plants have been unable to repay.
If the CLA fails to solve the problem, the spokesman continued, President Ma should instruct Premier Sean Chen to dismiss Pan Shih-wei as minister of the CLA.
In response to the protests from the alliance, Pan said yesterday that his council has set up an ad hoc panel to seek solutions for the issue.
Pan said that a concrete solution package is likely to be worked out before the Chinese New Year, which will start in early February.
Pan continued that he had already met with alliance representatives to discuss the issue one week after he assumed the post as CLA minister.
The CLA head stressed that his council will suspend legal actions to allow time for the above-mentioned panel to work out an optimal solution.