The Control Yuan yesterday demanded that government agencies address the issues of recruiting and management of immigrant workers after learning that 8.85 percent of them disappear from the system after they enter Taiwan.
The problem of illegal workers was highlighted after scaffolding collapsed near the Beishan Interchange (北山交流道) in Nantou on Freeway No. 6 on Thursday, killing seven men, six of whom were Indonesians who continued to work illegally after their original contracts had expired.
Control Yuan members Yin Jeo-chen (尹祚芊) and Chien Lin Whei-jun (錢林慧君) issued an investigation report that said the whereabouts of 32,927 foreign workers, out of a total of 374,126 now in the country, are unknown.
Citing Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) statistics based on interviews with employers, the two Control Yuan members said that the three main reasons immigrant workers abscond from their original employers were: “they are incited by companions to change employers,” “their contracts will expire soon” and “they wished to change jobs for higher pay.”
Chien said the council should be condemned for failing to order foreign employment agencies to stop overcharging workers and for being lenient with local governments who fail to inspect labor brokers working in their jurisdictions.
“Overcharging immigrant workers on commissions and for other purposes was one of the main reasons that some of them ran away,” Chien said.
The percentage of undocumented workers in the construction sector was as high as 21.8 percent, while the percentage in the manufacturing sector was 11.4 percent, the report said.
The Control Yuan members were also dissatisfied with the National Immigration Agency (NPA) because it was unable to provide them with any information regarding the runaway foreign workers.
Yin said the agency did not know the gender of the undocumented workers, how long they have stayed in the country or who their former employers were.
However, Yin and Chien praised a new approach adopted by the CLA at the end of 2007 under which employers are allowed to rehire immigrant workers after their original employment periods end. The Control Yuan said the council had made an effort to reform the recruitment system, which has long been dominated by brokers.
They advised the council apply the approach to employment of first-time immigrant workers applicants, to establish direct hiring centers in their home countries, and to simplify the procedures for employers to hire immigrant workers directly.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions