Thu, Mar 14, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Official implicated in Taichung's `slave labor' case

STAFF WRITER

Taichung City Councilor Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) yesterday held a press conference to bring complaints on behalf of an Indonesian laborer who was treated inhumanely by his Taiwanese employers.

The worker, Kusmin, was hired to work in Taiwan as a supervisor two years ago. When he arrived in Taiwan, his employer placed him under what was, in effect, house arrest. Kusmin was left alone to watch an orchard on Li mountain (梨山) in Taichung County. His employer sometimes even restricted his freedom of movement by cuffing his hands. During the two years of labor, he only received two payments, one of NT$25,000 and one of NT$50,000.

Huang revealed that the person in charge of the brokerage handling Kusmin's application was Chen-Chan Li-chuen (陳詹麗娟), who is also the director of Taichung County Government's Foreign Labor Service Center. Huang said that there obviously is reason to suspect that she had been shielding Kusmin's employer.

Chen admitted that she brought Kusmin to Taiwan two years ago while she was working for the brokerage firm, but she denied protecting anyone. She went on to say that she gave up all of her responsibilities at the brokerage when she started working as an inspector of foreign labor.

A representative of the Taichung County Bureau of Labor Affairs also said that Chen had terminated all of her responsibilities and shares in the brokerage before taking up the position at the Bureau's Foreign Labor Service Center in November 2000. She was later promoted to director of the service center.

The representative also said that the documents Huang showed as evidence of Chen's ownership of the brokerage were issued in September 2000, prior to the date when Chen accepted employment at the bureau.

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