Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 3 News List

CLA plans to recuit more foreigners for night shifts

DPA , TAIPEI

Taiwan plans to increase recruitment of foreign workers so that they can work night shifts, which are often shunned by Taiwanese workers, a Council of Labor Affairs official said yesterday.

"We plan to lift the ban on foreign workers working [night] shifts because many Taiwanese workers do not like to work them. The lifting of the ban will benefit many industries, especially electronics companies and slaughterhouses which operate around the clock," director of the council Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said at a meeting.

"We will decide on the quota for these foreign workers and submit a report to the government. If everything goes well, we can lift the ban by the end of the year at the earliest," he said.

The nation has recruited some 300,000 workers from six countries: Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Mongolia. If Taiwan increases the number of foreign workers, the new workers will also come from these countries.

At the meeting, Lee also said that the council was considering scrapping the fixed minimum monthly salary for a foreign worker -- NT$15,840 (US$465) -- and allow companies that hire foreign workers to decide salary levels.

"Many Taiwanese employers complain that foreign workers' salaries are higher than Taiwanese workers' salaries. So we will consider their suggestions and may scrap the minimum salary for foreign workers," he said.

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