Tue, Mar 03, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: CLA expects fall in number of foreign workers

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

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The number of foreign blue-collar workers employed across the nation is expected to drop by 30,000 this year as a result of the global economic recession and government measures to combat soaring unemployment, a ranking Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) official said last week.

The CLA passed an amendment on Thursday suspending the import of foreign workers by manufacturers operating three shifts and lowering the cap on the number of foreign workers allowed to work for major manufacturing firms from 30 percent to 20 percent of a company’s total work force, Employment and Vocational Training Administration Director-General Chen Yi-min (陳益民) said.

The amendment is scheduled to be implemented next week, Chen said.

Chen said the CLA drafted the amendment because domestic workers were now more willing to work night-shift jobs in the face of rising unemployment and the import of foreign laborers — a supplementary measure — should not affect the rights of domestic workers.

He said because of a decline in orders received by domestic manufacturers as a result of the global economic recession, the number of foreign workers employed in the nation had fallen by 8,400 in December and 9,000 in January. As a result of all these factors, the number of foreign workers employed in the manufacturing sector is expected to fall by 30,000 this year after the amendment takes effect, Chen said.

CLA statistics show that the number of foreign workers in the nation totaled 365,000 at the end of last year.

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