AWOL?The TRA cannot compel people to work on national holidays and mark them as absent without leave, a labor union said, calling it interference with union actions
Date: Jan 30, 2017
By: Chen Wei-han / Staff reporter
Employees who refused to work during the Lunar New Year holiday to protest working
conditions will face disciplinary action for interfering with holiday operations, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday.
More than 5,000 employees remained at their posts to maintain smooth railway operations during the holidays, but striking employees, who did not apply for leave, should be punished in fairness to those who reported for work, the agency said.
Striking workers will be deemed absent without leave and may be subject to additional punishment pending a review by a disciplinary board after the holidays, it said.
A workers’ union said that hundreds of members took mass leave to protest the agency’s refusal to hire more employees to ease the burden on staff.
The agency estimated that about 200 workers have taken unapproved leave every day since Friday, while the union’s estimate was 500 to 600 people per day.
The strike has caused confusion at some stations, with ticketing and station operations being stalled at stations in Taipei, Taoyuan and Hualien due to understaffing. [FULL STORY]