Business leaders yesterday expressed discontent over a clause in the newly-passed free-trade port law requiring 5 percent of port laborers must be Aborigines, saying they may opt out of the plan.
"We understand the government's good intentions in trying provide for Aboriginal workers, but there are just not that many Aboriginal workers out there," said Rock Hsu (
The Statute Governing the Establishment and Management of Free Trade Ports, (
Worker qualifications is another problem.
"Even if we can find enough Aboriginal workers, they necessarily cater to the needs of different business sectors," Hsu said.
A government official acknowledged the potential shortage of indigenous workers, saying that implementing the rule is "mission impossible."
"We're afraid that the rule will deter some companies from making use of the ports," said Ho Chun-hui (
Another industrialist also said the hiring quota is unreasonable.
"Some companies may end up employing unneeded Aboriginal workers to get past the rule," said deputy secretary-general George Lin (
The job guarantee for Aboriginals is not necessarily beneficial, one analyst said.
"The measure will instead reduce the competitiveness of Aboriginal workers, as some may stop improving their skills while under the government's care," said Hsu Song-ken (
"The right way to give aid to the Aboriginal nationals is through education programs, which will allow them to compete with general workers," Hsu said.
The DPP promised to propose a revision dropping the hiring quota from 5 percent to 1 percent in the next legislative session, DPP legislative caucus leader Chiu Chui-chen (邱垂貞), said yesterday.
However, the independent alliance that proposed the hiring quota is standing firm, regardless of the opposition from various sectors.
"The government and political parties hardly pay attention to creating job opportunities or ensuring the welfare of the Aboriginal people, which makes them the most disadvantaged group in the job market," said Chang Chun-chieh (
Chang said Aboriginal people account for 1.5 percent of total population in the nation, and yet their jobless rate is three times the rest of the population's rate. Therefore, a 5 percent quota is reasonable, he said.
"We will not give in on this issue," he said.