Thu, Feb 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Indonesia to urge higher pay for domestic workers

PARITY ACROSS PROFESSIONS:An Indonesian official also expressed the hope that fishery workers working for Taiwanese operators would receive better wages

Staff writer, with CNA

Indonesian labor authorities are planning to raise the issue of higher wages for their country’s migrant domestic workers.

Agusdin Subiantoro, deputy director of Indonesia’s Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, told reporters in an interview earlier this week that the request would be made in light of the significant gap between the wages of migrant domestic caregivers and migrant factory workers.

Indonesian domestic caregivers in Taiwan earn NT$17,000 per month on average, while migrant factory workers are paid at least NT$21,009 — in accordance with the monthly minimum wage — which was increased this year from last year’s NT$20,008, Agusdin said.

The Indonesian government is seeking to narrow that gap and is to ask Taipei to raise the monthly wage of Indonesian home helps and domestic caregivers to NT$19,000 with effect from next year.

The government raises the minimum wage almost every year, Agusdin said, adding that factory workers and caregivers in institutions are covered by that labor regulation, while domestic workers are not.

Indonesia plans to raise the issue this year during its meeting with Taiwan on labor affairs and to take a firm stance, he said.

Soes Hindarno, director of the Indonesian labor agency, expressed the hope that Indonesian fishery workers working for Taiwanese operators would also receive better wages that would be more in line with the minimum wage.

The working conditions of migrant fishery workers also need to be improved, Soes said.

As of last year, Indonesia was the largest source of migrant workers, accounting for 245,180 of Taiwan’s total of 624,768, Ministry of Labor data showed.

Nearly 80 percent, or about 170,000, of foreign caregivers in Taiwan were Indonesians, the data showed.

In August 2015, Taiwan and Indonesia agreed to raise the minimum monthly wage of Indonesian domestic workers from NT$15,840 to NT$17,000.

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