By Beth Main
On Tuesday evening, over 300 labourers bought tickets at Taipei Main Station, went to platform three, climbed down off the platform and laid down on the tracks. Their intention was to obstruct the train from Keelung to Zhanghua in protest against the closing down of their state owned factory.
At 8.25pm about 100 of the labourers jumped onto the tracks and lay down, fortunately the railway authorities were able to contact the driver in advance and warn him, though by the time the emergency brake stopped the train it was a mere two metres from the labourers.
Police had to lift the dedicated protesters one by one off the tracks and onto the platform before normal service could resume.
The railway authorities report that a total of 40 trains were delayed by a total of 1,200 minutes. 10,600 unhappy travellers were effected. Only at 11pm after discussions with the police did the labourers leave on a chartered train, reports were unclear whether any deal was reached.