New labor minister vows to fulfill labor law, protect workers’ rights

"The handover means the beginning of the hard work," Newly appointed Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) said at a handover ceremony. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

Taipei, (CNA) Newly appointed Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) said Monday upon assuming her new position that she will fully implement the labor law and work to protect the rights of workers rather than acting as a rubber stamp of the government.

Hsu, a former Kaohsiung deputy mayor, took over the position in a handover ceremony from her predecessor Lin Mei-chu (林美珠), who tendered her resignation for health reasons.

The ceremony was witnessed by Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億) in the wake of a partial Cabinet reshuffle announced Feb. 23.

“The handover means the beginning of the hard work,” Hsu said at the ceremony, adding that the ministry will embark on labor inspections in March.

The latest amendments to the Labor Standards Act mandate that the “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day” per week policy will take effect March 1, Hsu noted, adding that there will be no honeymoon period after the handover ceremony because the ministry will have to start labor inspections from the beginning of next month.

Hsu also said she will honor her promise to strive for workers’ rights by fulfilling her responsibilities as a supervisor.

The new minister also said she will count on the help of deputy labor ministers Su Li-chiung (蘇麗瓊), Shih Keh-her (施克和) and Lin San-quei (林三貴), as well as Ministry of Labor Secretary-General Chen Ming-jen (陳明仁).

Hsu also said she has recruited Cheng Su-ling (鄭素玲), director of the Kaohsiung Labor Department, as head of the Labor Minister’s office.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Evelyn Kao)