Sat, Oct 22, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Exit rules lifted for blue-collar workers

‘BAD APPLES’:The amendment would allow ‘runaway’ foreign workers to remain in Taiwan indefinitely and the government’s hands would be tied, opponents said

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Meanwhile, members of the Taiwan International Workers’ Association (TIWA) said that the government should put “people before profits” and held mock human skins hanging from poles symbolizing their claim that agencies have used exit provisions to “skin” and exploit foreign workers.

“Migrant workers have no labor guarantees in areas such as overtime pay. If the agencies had done their job to resolve these issues, why are there so many foreign workers making appeals to the Ministry of Labor,” TIWA member Chuang Shu-ching (莊舒晴) said. “Agencies know that many families let foreign caregivers work beyond their permits, but what have the agencies done about it? All they do is brand anyone who appeals to the government a ‘bad apple’ who has to be sifted out by the exit provision system.”

Removing the mandatory exit clause would not affect employers’ ability to fire workers, because employers could still choose to refuse to renew their three-year contracts, TIWA member Chen Hsiu-lian (陳秀蓮) said.

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) lauded the passage of the amendment, saying: “The workers would benefit from the alleviated burden of debt” accrued from brokerage fees, and therefore the relationship between the employers and the workers would stabilize, as fewer disputes would occur over their their limited period of stay.

Lin said that supporting measures planned by the ministry include holidays, when migrant workers can visit their home nations, and not placing a financial burden on their employers.

“A win-win situation for employers and workers is an outcome we most welcome and hope for,” he said.

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