One day prior to International Labor Day, a protest was staged outside the Kaohsiung City Council by the Kaohsiung Independent Trade Union and 10 other Kaohsiung-based trade unions, demanding the relocation of the Ministry of Labor to southern Taiwan and the establishment of a committee to adjudicate cases of improper labor conduct in Kaohsiung such that laborers in southern Taiwan won't have to travel north to protect their own rights.
Around 50 members of the Kaohsiung Independent Trade Union and 10 other Kaohsiung-based trade unions gathered outside the Kaohsiung City Council to deliver a petition on Apr. 30, one day ahead of International Labor Day. They demanded that the Ministry of Labor be relocated to southern Taiwan, and also called for the ministry to establish a committee in Kaohsiung to adjudicate cases of improper labor conduct.
The president, vice president, the heads of the five yuans, the vice premier, and the labor minister are all from southern Taiwan. However, under the current system, when laborers or unions are oppressed, they have to travel to Taipei for adjudication. That's the reason for our first demand today.
The Kaohsiung Independent Trade Union explained that when laborers in southern Taiwan get into disputes with management, they have to travel to Taipei for adjudication, which is extremely unreasonable. Although the Ministry of Labor subsidizes the travel fee, it believes a better solution would be to establish a committee in Kaohsiung to adjudicate labor disputes and ensure laborers in both northern and southern Taiwan enjoy the proper rights and benefits.
I will do my best to accomplish the task that the (Kaohsiung Independent Trade Union) chairperson entrusted me with.
It's like establishing a mediation committee at a district office, it's as simple as that. Why doesn't the Ministry of Labor listen to the voices of the people?
The union handed over its petition to the city council, and expressed its hope that the council would convey the wishes of the people to the central government through a draft resolution. Both Kuomintang and Democratic Progressive Party city councilors promised to draft a resolution to discuss this issue as quickly as possible. The Executive Yuan's Southern Taiwan Joint Services Center says it has already asked the Ministry of Labor to formulate a response.