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COMMUNITY COMPASS: Pigeon Post

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

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France celebrates Bastille Day in Taipei

The Association of French in Taiwan (AFT) is inviting the public to participate in its upcoming Bastille Day Grand Ball on Saturday to celebrate the 320th anniversary of the national holiday.

“Bastille Day is France’s most celebrated national holiday, a moment of popular fever where everybody gathers in the streets,” AFT chairman Dominique Levy said.

Bastille Day commemorates the Fete de la Federation, held in 1790 on the first anniversary of the July 14, 1789, storming of the Bastille prison that marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

The Bastille Day Grand Ball event will take place at the Huashan Cultural Creative Park in Taipei City. There will be plenty of food and drinks along with live music, dancing and magic performances to entertain a culturally diverse crowd.

The Bastille Day celebration, which will run from 6:30pm until midnight, will conclude with a lucky draw with many attractive prizes, the AFT said.

Admission is NT$400 for adults and free for children under 12. Registration can be made by sending an e-mail to comiteaft@gmail.com. Additional information is available at www.taiwanaccueil.com.

Foreign labor force drops

The number of foreign laborers in Taiwan has fallen by nearly 10 percent since late last year after Taiwan was hit hard by the global economic downturn, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said on Saturday.

There were 341,000 foreign laborers in Taiwan in May, down from a peak of 374,000 in July last year and 373,000 in November, CLA figures showed.

Much of the diminution has occurred in the manufacturing sector.

“The number of foreign laborers in the manufacturing and construction sectors has always been larger than that of foreign workers in the social welfare sector,” a CLA official said, adding that this was no longer the case since April.

In July last year, industrial migrant workers outnumbered foreign workers in the service sector by 208,000 to 168,000. But by April, only 171,000 foreign laborers were employed in the manufacturing and construction sectors, while the number of foreign workers in the service sector — including caregivers and housemaids — increased to 172,000.

Indonesia was the top source of foreign laborers in May, with 134,000, followed by 77,000 from Vietnam, 67,000 from the Philippines and 62,000 from Thailand.

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