Migrant rights groups rallied in Taipei on Monday to protest a government decision that would allow the use of migrant workers as temporary workers at the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park (彰化濱海工業區) to ease labor shortages, citing occupational safety concerns.
The Ministry of Labor (MOL) has approved a proposal by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to import migrant workers to serve as temporary workers at the industrial park, according to the minutes of an MOL meeting on Feb. 25.
The workers would be managed by a third-party nonprofit group and “dispatched” to factories in the park during peak production season or when they have to fill urgent orders.
A total of 50 migrant workers would be allowed into Taiwan for this purpose, the MOL said.
However, the Migrants Empowerment Network in Taiwan, a coalition of about 10 migrant rights groups, objected to the idea, chanting slogans and holding banners at a rally outside the MOL to voice its opposition.
MOL data show that many factories in the industrial park follow strict production procedures because they handle toxic gases or organic solvents, Weng Chien-wen (翁倩文) of the Hope Workers’ Center said.
However, using temporary workers would increase the risk of occupational disasters because they lack experience, and would need to adapt to a new and dangerous labor environment every three to six months, Weng said.
Normally, migrant workers in Taiwan, whether working in a household or factory setting, work for one employer or company under the same or similar working conditions for the duration of their contract.
Labor shortages are a longstanding problem because of long working hours and low pay, unstable work days, and dangerous working environments that increase the risk of occupational accidents, the groups said.
Rather than allowing factories to profit from cheap labor, the government should focus on improving labor conditions to bolster full-time employment, they said.
The MOL said that domestic laws and regulations, such as the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (職業安全衛生法) and the Act of Gender Equality in Employment (性別工作平等法), would apply to the 50 migrant workers who would have three-year contracts with the nonprofit organizations that dispatch them.
Nonprofit groups that import workers will be responsible for the workers, including taking out health and labor insurance on their behalf, the MOL said.
MOL data showed that as of the end of May, there were 707,308 migrant workers in the nation, including 274,269 from Indonesia, 219,716 from Vietnam, 156,014 from the Philippines and 57,843 from Thailand.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by