Migrant workers are to hold a protest on Sunday demanding a switch from the brokerage employment system to a government-to-government direct hiring system, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday.
The brokerage system should be abolished to prevent migrant workers from being exploited, the association said at a news conference in front of the Ministry of Labor building in Taipei.
The government should shoulder responsibility by including the protection of migrant workers’ rights in its public services, it said.
Association member Chen Hsiu-lien (陳秀蓮) said that migrant workers are charged a brokerage fee, or “job-buying fee,” by a broker in their native nation, followed by a second fee charged by a placement agency when they arrive, with the total amount ranging from NT$60,000 to NT$200,000.
“Some even have to continue submitting monthly fees to brokers after they are hired, with the total amount reaching up to NT$60,000 over three years,” she added.
The monopoly of placement agencies for migrant workers should be broken and replaced by a direct-hiring system in which a government-run agency directly employs workers from other nations, she said.
The Workforce Development Agency said that the implementation of a direct-hiring system faces many hurdles, as it requires cooperation from labor-exporting nations, citing Indonesian laws that mandate that first-time employment of Indonesian workers be coordinated by a placement agency.
The ministry would continue to push for changes to those laws in bilateral meetings, the agency said.
Besides placement agencies, there are other channels in place for employers to hire migrant workers, it said. They can be directly hired or with the assistance of a service center established by the ministry.
Presented with proof of brokers charging exorbitant fees, the ministry and local authorities would administer punishments as the brokers are regulated by the Employment Service Act (就業服務法), the agency said.
The importation of workers should operate on a free-market basis, while the ministry continues monitoring and checking the mechanisms in its bid to create a healthier environment for migrant workers, it said.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’: Taipei prosecutors said that cooperation agreements between Taiwan and the Czech Republic grant Czech officials protection against prosecution The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reaffirmed that it would not charge a Czech official with sexual assault because he is protected by diplomatic immunity. The office released a statement saying it has verified that the man works for the Czech Economic and Cultural Office Taipei’s foreign affairs corps and is thereby protected from criminal prosecution. A foreign graduate student in Taiwan had filed a complaint alleging that the section head of the Czech Economic and Trade Section had sexually assaulted her on April 21 last year. The woman said the Czech official had invited her to his home and then forced her