Council of Labor Affairs Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) yesterday said Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) would not necessarily be allowed to hire the 500 foreign workers it hopes to recruit to work at its fire-plagued petrochemical complex in Yunlin County.
Wang said that when there is an adequate supply of local workers, there is no reason for companies to apply for workers from abroad. However, FPG has expressed doubt that there is a big enough pool of sufficiently skilled local workers to meet the group’s employment demands.
According to government regulations, domestic companies must hire 80 percent of their staff from within Taiwan and foreign hiring is only allowed when the supply of local workers is insufficient.
In FPG’s case, the group can employ 500 foreign workers out of the 2,500 workers needed, but the rest must be local. However, she said, the group would not be allowed to recruit 500 foreign workers if a sufficient number of locals are available.
“Not all the group’s demands will be met, even if those demands are within the law,” Wang said.
So far, FPG has yet to file an application with the council to hire foreign workers. Wang said FPG should first divulge exactly how many workers it needs to work on a NT$13 billion (US$450 million) pipeline renewal project, their job descriptions, salaries and technical requirements.
Meanwhile, she said the council would assess the availability of local workers to gain a better understanding of FPG’s needs before preparing to accept the group’s application to hire foreign workers.