As President Tsai Ing-wen arrived for a regular meeting at DPP headquarters this afternoon, she was met by more than 18 members of the Taiwan Higher Education Union and Labor Struggle, a group that had occupied DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming’s (柯建銘) office yesterday to protest a plan that would eliminate seven national holidays. The group criticized President Tsai for not protecting workers’ rights, particularly those of younger workers whom the group claims face poor working conditions, UDN reported.
As the group arrived on the 10th floor of the party headquarters, they were met by police who would not allow them to meet with the president or other officials. The group tried for an hour to push through to meet with the president.
Despite promises of a more open government, the group claims that the DPP has not been willing to listen to their demands. If the government refuses to meet with the organization, the members have not ruled out expanding their protests.
According to UDN, the group stated, “We believe that President Tsai Ing-wen, who wants to improve the situation of young people, should respond to the youths’ concerns and communicate with youth groups…and give the public a complete explanation.” The group issued three demands: That President Tsai 1) should address the elimination of the seven days off and indicate why the party would want to do so, 2) return to pre-election political commitment to reduce working hours and raise wages, and 3) immediately withdraw the proposal to eliminate holidays.
Labor organizations previously protested a 5% minimum wage increase proposal in September as they saw it as too small of an increase. Labor groups had pushed for a 40% increase.