The Ministry of Labor is considering lifting a decade-long ban on Vietnamese domestic caretakers in response to an expected decrease in Indonesian migrant workers from 2017.
The plans drew criticism from migrant workers’ advocates, who accused the ministry of evading its responsibility for improving working conditions of domestic caretakers.
A report by the Chinese-language Apple Daily quoted Deputy Minister of Labor Chen I-min (陳益民) as saying that the ban could be lifted by June.
Photo: Wang Jung-hsiang, Taipei Times
His remarks followed earlier comments on introducing workers from Myanmar to mitigate the expected shortfall.
Indonesia’s announcement late last month to gradually stop allowing its nationals to work in Taiwan as domestic caregivers has sent ripples through the nation, as Taiwan relies heavily on Indonesian workers to care for its elderly and disabled people.
As of January, among a total of more than 220,000 domestic caretakers from Southeast Asian countries employed by Taiwanese families, about 170,000 were from Indonesia, accounting for nearly 80 percent.
Vietnamese maritime workers and domestic caretakers were banned by the ministry in 2004 and 2005 respectively, due to a high absconding rate.
Minister of Labor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文) said that occurrences of runaway workers among Vietnamese have decreased since Hanoi introduced stricter punishments last year.
He said the ministry is currently “keeping multiple options” open for new sources of migrant workers to replace those from Indonesia.
Taiwan International Workers’ Association researcher Wu Jing-ru (吳靜如) said that it was “shameful” for Taiwan to ignore demands from foreign governments to protect the labor rights of workers and instead “exploit new sources of cheap labor.”
“We all know that the Indonesian government stopped sending workers because its demands to improve the basic rights of Indonesian workers failed to materialize,” Wu said, adding that foreign caretakers in Taiwan almost never have days off and are required to pay high brokerage fees.
She said many migrant workers absconded because of harsh working conditions and urged the ministry to stop portraying runaway workers as the root of its problems.
Without reforms to guarantee vacation rights and adequate wages, absconding would likely remain common among migrant workers, Wu said, adding that brokerage fees for Vietnamese workers in Taiwan cost up to US$7,000 per person — the most expensive among all migrant worker-providing countries.
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘UNITED FRONT’: Grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or hosts is a Chinese tactic to spread propaganda to influence young people, a source said As part of its “united front” tactics, China has been grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or Internet program hosts, a source said on condition of anonymity. Over the past year, about 1,000 Taiwanese living in China have participated in training programs and competitions for show hosts held in several cities, including Xiamen, Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the source said on Saturday. “Beijing is taking advantage of the openness of the Internet to spread propaganda about acceptance of China, and about ‘national security,’” the source said, adding that Taiwan’s national security officials are racing to fix the problem. Chinese infiltration of
MAIN CHALLENGE: The US naval commander warned that China would seek to ‘forcibly change’ the balance of power in the region that would likely be permanent The US encourages Taiwan to invest in defense and obtain asymmetric defense capabilities, US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson said on Thursday. Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, made the remark in a videoconference on defense matters hosted by the American Enterprise Institute think tank. “China is positioned to achieve overmatch” in its military capability by 2026, he said. When Beijing is able to, it would “likely choose to forcibly change” the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, “and I would say the change in that status quo could be permanent,” he said. “China seeks a new world order, one with Chinese characteristics,