Sun, Mar 01, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Migrant worker broker fees ‘exorbitant’: Indonesia

Staff writer, with CNA

The biggest problem for Indonesian workers in Taiwan are the “exorbitant” brokerage fees, which are unacceptable, Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers official Agusdin Sabiantoro said on Friday.

Sabiantoro said that a major problem for his nation’s migrant workers has been the excessively high fees manpower brokers charge them to work in Taiwan.

An Indonesian worker arriving in Taiwan has to pay brokers about NT$60,000 (US$1,906) in related expenses, Agusdin said, after his nation warned again on Wednesday that it was planning to stop sending domestic workers to Taiwan in 2017.

The payments represent a heavy burden for Indonesian workers and are unacceptable according to International Labor Organization regulations, he said.

Sabiantoro said Indonesian workers have had to go along with Taiwanese regulations in the past, but Indonesia plans to begin working with Taiwan on rules and other concerns related to the welfare of these migrant workers.

As of the end of January last year, Indonesia had the biggest contingent of foreign nationals working in Taiwan, accounting for 41.6 percent, or 231,489, of the 556,412 foreign workers in the nation, Ministry of Labor statistics showed.

Of the 221,709 foreign workers involved in human health and social work activities, mostly serving as full-time caregivers for elderly Taiwanese, 176,117 are from Indonesia, the figures showed.

With Taiwan’s population aging rapidly, demand for these caregivers is likely to grow, but Indonesia says that it will cut off the supply of such workers to the rest of the world in the next few years.

Agency of Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers head Nusron Wahi on Wednesday said that his nation would stop sending domestic workers to the Middle East starting this year as the first step in the pullback.

It will then gradually reduce the number of domestic workers sent to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau and other countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region, beginning in 2017, he said during an interview with Indonesian media Web site

Rather than sending domestic workers overseas, Indonesia plans to begin exporting trained and skilled workers, he said, adding that the Indonesian government is preparing to provide training programs.

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