Wed, Feb 02, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Night shifts need foreign workers

LABOR SHORTAGE Factories with 24-hour operation are finding it increasingly difficult to find employees for night shifts; the CLA thinks OCWs might be the answer

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) is planning to bring in overseas contract workers (OCWs) this year to cover late-night shifts at factories.

The council has a number of other policies affecting foreign workers in the works.

"There are some manufacturing plants that operate 24 hours a day and have a pressing need to find a workforce to cover the late shifts," said Liao Wei-jen (廖為仁), a section chief in charge of foreign labor affairs at the CLA.

Liao said that if there are typically three shifts a day at a factory, it is the third shift that is usually short of workers.

Many business owners have told the CLA that it is difficult to cover night shifts from the domestic labor market.

If the plan to bring in foreign workers to make up the shortfall goes ahead, Liao said, restrictions would be placed on the number of workers allowed to enter and how long they could stay.

Furthermore, in order to meet the needs of Taiwan's social and economic development, the council also plans to expand the number of countries from which foreign workers are recruited.

In addition, the council is also pushing to promote the direct employment of foreign migrant workers, putting an end to the notorious broker system.

In order to strengthen the management of overseas contract employment, the CLA is reviewing its hiring policies and amending some related regulations.

According to the council's Vice Chairman Lai Ching-lin (賴勁麟), the council aims to enforce inspections on manpower agencies; and to crack down on false information stated on foreign worker employment applications and worker exploitation.

The evaluation mechanism for foreign caregivers is also to be incorporated into that of local social policy and public health policy.

However, Lai pointed out, no firm decisions have been made to cut back on the number of caregivers.

In regards to white-collar foreign professionals, the CLA plans to further enforce the Regulations on the Permission and Administration of the Employment of Foreign Workers (外國專業人員工作許可).

In addition, a management measure to administer white-collar foreign professionals is also on CLA's agenda to safeguard local workers' employment rights.

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