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June 29, 2017

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Labor unions to march for 123 days off every year

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Labor unions will stage a thousands-strong rally on Tuesday against the Tsai Ing-wen's administration and Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) "unrelenting determination" to pass a controversial workweek bill.

"We reject the brutal, black-box legislative process" and "Defend 19 public holidays, ensure 123 annual days off," labor representatives chanted Wednesday at a protest outside the Legislative Yuan announcing the rally.

The 123 League — an organization encompassing labor unions nationwide and named in reference of its support to uphold a total 123 annual holidays — demanded lawmakers send the workweek bill back into committee, hold public hearings and stand firm to maintain the current number of days off every year.

The bill — which mandates one day off every week and another "flexible" day off, for which employees must be paid overtime wages if they work — is waiting to enter cross-party negotiations, after which it may head to a vote on the floor.

The march is slated to depart from outside the DPP's Taipei headquarters and end at the Legislature Yuan. At least 2,000 members of the league will participate in the rally, according to the 123 League.

On Oct. 5, DPP lawmakers pushed the bill through committee, triggering fury from opposition lawmakers and protesters stationed outside the Legislature Yuan.

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