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April 10,2009 Labor unions to hold protest march against unemployment

Several labor unions are preparing to hold a protest march in Taipei on May 1 -- Labor Day -- to demand that the government create long-term stable work for the jobless.

Representatives of the groups, which include the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions (TCTU), the National Federation of Bank Employees Unions (NFBEU) and the Youth Labor Union 95, held a press conference Monday in Taipei to announce the protest.

TCTU Secretary-General Hsieh Chuang-chih said it is the governments obligation to create work and curb the increasing unemployment in the face of the global economic crisis.

NFBEU Secretary-General Han Shih-hsien said for his part that the massive layoffs over the past few months by financial services operators and electronics manufacturing companies reflects the fact that workers rights and benefits are not protected by the law at all.

At the press conference, Youth Labor Union 95 Convener Chen Puo-chien suggested that the government should appropriate NT$80 billion (US$2.4 billion) from its special budgets each year to funnel into plans to further expand its middle- and long-term public services in fields such as nature conservation and long-term health care for senior citizens.

According to statistics released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the unemployment rate increased to 5.75 percent in February, up by 1.81 percentage points from the level of the same month of the previous year.

And the CTWU will join the fight,for Taiwan workers dignity!