By Ann Maxon / Staff reporter
The New Power Party （NPP） caucus yesterday said it plans to promote a referendum on minimum wage and other issues to protect workers’ rights.
In a statement released yesterday morning after amendments to the Labor Standards Act （勞動基準法） were passed, the NPP criticized the way the Democratic Progressive Party handled the amendments and expressed concerns over their negative effects on workers.
Article 32, which increases the maximum overtime hours from 46 per month to 54 and allows workers to reach the maximum overtime for four consecutive months would lead to “serious overwork,” the NPP said.
Meanwhile, Article 24, which would increase the maximum number of consecutive work days from six to12, would raise the chances of occupational accidents and illnesses, it said.
The government last year hoped to reduce overtime by raising overtime pay, but the latest amendments run contrary to that goal, the NPP said.
It said it would also promote an act on public holidays and an act governing procedures for labor complaints.
In addition, it plans to push for another amendment to the labor act and a new amendment to Labor Inspection Act （勞動檢查法）, it said.
The NPP will promote a referendum on passing a law on minimum wage, it said.
The NPP on Dec. 26 announced a plan to promote a referendum on a minimum wage act after an Internet poll it conducted found that many people supported the idea.
In the poll, conducted between Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, respondents were presented with six referendum subjects. A total of 78.1 percent of respondents voted for “drafting a minimum wages act,” followed by “clearly defining the nation’s territories” and “passing a law on public holidays.”