Tue, Apr 14, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ministry to probe Apache tour group for labor violations

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

Seven members of a controversial group that toured a restricted military base housing Apache helicopters are suspected of having violated regulations concerning foreign caregivers under their employment, Minister of Labor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文) said yesterday.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel Lao Nai-cheng (勞乃成), the March 29 tour of a restricted military base in Taoyuan raised concerns about a lapse in military security and the abuse of privilege, as the group included showbiz personality Janet Lee (李蒨蓉) and several members of the business elite.

Controversy over migrant workers employed by members of the tour group came to light after investigators found that several foreign nationals were present during the tour.

Among 13 Taiwanese in the group, seven are suspected of illegally employing migrant workers through dubious channels, Chen said yesterday.

Four members of the group — Lao, Lee, Bright Media chairman Kuo Ta-wei (郭大為) and society figure Shih Hsin-yi (石新儀) — are suspected of having illegally employed more than one foreign caregiver.

Although the four applied for foreign caregivers through legal channels, Chen said that the ministry has launched an investigation to find out whether the migrant workers in their employment had been forced to engage in work outside of their original work permits.

The remaining three — society figures Joanne Wang (王君怡) and Chu Kai-wei (朱愷葳) and an individual surnamed Chiu (邱) — are suspected of having employed migrant workers illegally, such as employing workers who have absconded from their original posts.

According to the Employment Services Act (就業服務法), migrant workers registered as caregivers may only provide personal care for elderly family members or immobile patients, while childcare responsibilities are considered illegal.

Labor regulations stipulate that only families with members that require round-the-clock care are eligible to apply for foreign caretakers, while employers who have been found to provide false information in their applications may be fined.

Additional reporting by CNA

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