Saturday, July 30, 2016

Migrant workers are being ‘severely overworked’: Tsai

Migrant workers are being ‘severely overworked’: Tsai

RIGHTS PROTECTION:Foreign caregivers in the nation have long been calling for better wages and shorter working hours, as well as regular days off

Staff writer, with CNA
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that foreign migrant workers are overworked and her government is hoping to better protect their rights.
Human rights protection is an important issue, Tsai said in a meeting with US Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Susan Coppedge, who is a senior adviser to US Secretary of State John Kerry.
“At present, there are still some foreign workers in Taiwan who are severely overworked, or are forced to work in highly hazardous or physically exhausting jobs,” Tsai was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Presidential Office after the closed-door meeting.
The president said she hopes to better protect the rights of such workers and wants to assure the international community of the nation’s efforts to safeguard human rights, the statement said.
Coppedge touted Taiwan’s efforts to combat human trafficking, noting that the nation is listed as a “tier” 1 country — those that are doing the best job — in the annual Trafficking in Persons report released by the US Department of State last month, the statement said.
Coppedge is in Taipei for an international workshop on combating human trafficking that is being organized by the National Immigration Agency.
As of the end of last month, there were 602,309 foreign migrant workers in Taiwan, with Indonesia accounting for the largest number, followed by Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand, Ministry of Labor statistics showed.
Migrant workers have long been calling for better wages and working hours, as well as regular days off. Foreign domestic helpers and caregivers are not protected under the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).

1 comment:

  1. How long is the Taipei Times going to run these articles, suggesting that some small tweak in the Ministry of Labor will make Taiwan a utopia for immigrants (sorry, "foreign workers")? Even the President can only "hope" she can do something. Ah, the good news, Taiwan is a tier 1 country in terms of human trafficking. So in the middle of the article, we are reminded that Taiwan is a great place for immigrants because they are not actively engaged in literal slavery (only indentured servitude).

    A large number of immigrant workers are are just not protected under the Labor Standards Act--almost an afterthought in the article. No mention of unions or the grossly unequal playing field between immigrant workers and bosses. Sometimes (daily) the reporting from this newspaper makes me want to vomit. "Foreign caretakers have been calling for better wages" and then an article without one voice from immigrant workers! I am not expecting them to hire a labor reporter, but boy howdy that is rich.

    Ah, who am I to complain. The Ministry of Labor will save the day with their statistics and hotline, I am sure. The feudalism lived out daily by thousands in Taiwan will melt away. And then finally, the Taipei Times editors can sleep easy knowing that Taiwan is the nice, open, welcoming place that it is in their imagination.