Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 3 News List

CLA sees signs of progress on accord with Indonesia

CNA , TAIPEI

The Council of Labor Affairs said yesterday it would lift the ban on importing Indonesian workers after Jakarta signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on labor management cooperation.

The council made the remarks after Indonesia's Minister of Manpower and Trans-Immigration Affairs Falmi Idris announced earlier in the day that he would visit Taipei late this month to discuss resumption of labor exports.

Council Chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊) said now that the Indonesian government has shown goodwill toward resolving labor management problems, the council will handle the issue in a reciprocal manner.

Noting that the council has signed MOUs with countries supplying laborers to facilitate cooperation in introducing foreign blue-collar workers, housemaids and caregivers, Chen said negotiations with Indonesia will follow the principles set forth in those accords.

If all goes smoothly, Chen said, imports of Indonesian workers will resume before long.

The council imposed an across-the-board ban on the import of Indonesian workers in Aug. 1, 2002 in retaliation for Jakarta's failure to cooperate on ending the high runaway rate of Indonesian workers or the unreasonable brokerage fees charged by the Indonesian side.

Chen visited Jakarta earlier this year to discuss a labor management cooperative agreement. The council originally expected to sign an MOU soon after that visit. However, the signing was delayed by Indonesia's presidential election. Now that the new Indonesian administration has been inaugurated, Chen said she expects to finalize the MOU signing soon.

According to reports from Jakarta, Idris told a meeting of representatives from several labor employment agencies, non-governmental organizations and others that he had decided to visit Taiwan at the end of the month to discuss a bilateral labor management cooperative agreement.

Idris also said that Taiwan might soon resume importing laborers from Indonesia, allowing about 60,000 to 100,000 Indonesian workers.

Idris would be the first Indonesian ministerial-level official to visit Taiwan since 2001.

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