Sun, Oct 02, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Labor advocates to march for foreign worker law reform

Staff writer, with CNA

The Taiwan International Workers’ Association yesterday said it would take to the streets of Taipei today to push for the passage of an amendment that would scrap the requirement that foreign blue-collar workers must leave the nation for at least one day every three years if they want to be rehired.

The march is to start at the headquarters of the Democratic Progressive Party and proceed to the Legislative Yuan, the association said.

The amendment to the Employment Service Act (就業服務法), which passed an initial review by the legislature on June 22, would allow foreign blue-collar workers who have worked in Taiwan for three years — the longest contract allowed — to be rehired without having to leave the nation.

The amendment was put onto the legislative agenda to pave the way for a second reading in July, but has stalled because of opposition from labor agencies.

The agencies argue that it would increase the chance of foreign laborers absconding, would not phase out bad workers, would steal jobs from young Taiwanese, would induce closures of legal labor agencies and allow migrant workers to become naturalized Taiwanese.

However, the association said the amendment only scraps the requirement of leaving for one day after working in Taiwan for three years, and does not change the foreign worker system.

The chances of foreign workers becoming naturalized Taiwanese is also out of the question, it said.

If the requirement remains, the result will be to “let foreign labor agencies collect huge brokerage fees after three years,” the association said.

“The scrapping of the requirement will be the first step toward cutting the exploitation of migrant workers and Taiwan moving toward being a nation that adheres to human rights,” the association said.

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