Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday urged the Executive Yuan to rescind an executive order that would relax restrictions on Chinese white-collar workers, saying it could squeeze out local job opportunities and social resources.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) decision to allow more Chinese white-collar workers to work in Taiwan, allow their families to receive education and health insurance benefits, and to extend their stay from four months for up to six years was “a violation of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pledges and detrimental to the local labor market,” DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) told a press conference.
During his re-election campaign, Ma pledged that he would not relax restrictions on Chinese workers, Pan said.
Jiang initiated the regulatory changes on residency for Chinese workers through regulations governing personnel transfers in multinational corporations during an Executive Yuan meeting on March 7 and the executive order would take effect on April 1, Pan said.
Pan accused the Ma administration of evading legislative oversight by authorizing 115 executive orders during Ma’s term to ease restrictions on almost every aspect related to China, including Chinese workers, tourists, students, investment and trade activities.
Under the new regulations, Chinese workers would be able to work in Taiwan for up to three years and could extend their stay for three more years, DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) said, adding that those workers’ family members would be allowed to stay for the same period, be eligible for National Health Insurance and their children could attend schools without having to go through the same application process and examinations as Taiwanese students.
“The measures would jeopardize not only Taiwanese people’s employment opportunities, but also social resources, such as healthcare and education. That is unfair to Taiwanese,” Chiu said.
The relaxation could bring “astounding” numbers of Chinese workers to Taiwan, she said.
If each of the 1,073 Taiwanese listed companies that have investments in China were to transfer 10 Chinese employees to Taiwan, an influx of more than 10,000 Chinese workers would take away jobs from local workers, Chiu said.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) defended Jiang’s decision, saying that the free flow of workers was one of the commitments Taiwan made when it joined the WTO in 2002.
Chinese workers coming to Taiwan would be managerial-level white-collar workers with professional expertise, not blue-collar workers, Wu said.