By Beth Main
Trade union representatives, employees of state-owned enterprises and their relatives took to the streets of Taipei today protesting against cuts to year-end bonuses that they see as an insult.
About 50,000 workers from the oil, electric, water and sugar state industries donned headbands with slogans, waved flags and honked air horns in protest at the governments decision.
Ketagalan Boulevard, that leads to the Presidential Office, was blocked off today to accommodate the stage, news vans and thousands of protesters rallying against Ma Ying-jeou’s government. The government recently decided to cut performance bonuses for workers at state-owned enterprises to the equivalent of 1.2 months’ salary, from the original 2.6 months’.
A spokesperson for Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation pointed out that the lack of incentives means workers will simply not work as hard which will reduce output in all industries. Treating all the industries the same is a mistake since the government has failed to evaluate each industries unique characteristics and needs, he added.
Protestors suggest that the government imitate private industry and not cap bonuses at 1.2 months. This is the latest in a series of recent protests against labour laws and the government.