More than 100 migrant workers and workers’ rights advocates yesterday rallied outside the Executive Yuan in Taipei calling on the government to enact a “household service act” to protect the labor conditions of migrant domestic workers.
The rally was organized by the Migrants Empowerment Network in Taiwan (MENT) — a group of grassroots organizations advocating for the rights of migrant workers in the nation, with members including the Taiwan International Workers’ Association, the Hsinchu Migrants and Immigrants Service Center, and Caritas Taiwan.
As of the end of March, there were 713,933 migrant workers in the nation, about 34 percent of whom were home care workers, the MENT said in a statement.
While migrant workers who work in factories are protected by the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), migrant home care workers earn less than the minimum wage with unregulated working hours and are not protected by labor laws, the MENT said.
Some employers in the nation have long relied on the inexpensive labor provided by migrant workers for “24-hour care,” it said.
Taiwan has been an “aging society” for many years, it said, but added that “exploiting the cheap labor from other countries to make up for the shortage of local long-term care labor is, after all, not the solution to the problem.”
“We do not want to pray forever that we meet good employers. Nor do we want the brokers to always ask us to be patient,” Fani, an Indonesian care worker who attended the rally, said through an interpreter.
“Care workers are workers, too, and workers must have legal protection,” she said.
Yesterday’s demonstration was scheduled to come one day after International Workers’ Day and before the upcoming Mothers’ Day on Sunday, which are important holidays for migrant domestic workers, the organizers said.
Many migrant domestic workers in the nation are mothers who are separated from their children for long periods, Awakening Foundation secretary-general Chyn Yu-rung (覃玉蓉) said.
In the early 1990s, when Taiwan was debating whether to allow migrant domestic workers, supporters of the policy said that doing so would allow Taiwanese women to be relieved of the responsibilities of taking care of children, elderly family members and housework, and allow them to work outside and achieve financial independence, Chyn said.
Through public policy and human rights legislation, the government should allow hardworking mothers to have the same rights, regardless of their nationality, she said.
“I want a household service act,” the demonstrators chanted while holding signs with messages such as “Legal protection for household workers,” “Household work is work” and “Justice for all domestic migrant workers.”
Enactment of a proposed household service act should not be further delayed, the MENT statement said.
A household service act would be “the best Mothers’ Day and Workers’ Day gift” for all migrant domestic workers who are mothers, it added.
Netflix on Wednesday said it is to charge NT$100 more per month for each user that is not part of the same household. Under the plan, the streaming service is to limit viewership to people who live in the same household. If a member wishes to add people outside of their address, they must pay NT$100 more per person every month. No additional viewers can be added to the NT$270 per month “basic” account. “Standard” accounts (NT$330) can add one user, while “premium” (NT$390) accounts can add two users. The company has said that people in the same household would still be able
PRESSURE POINT: Beijing might seek to lean on Musk to prevent his SpaceX from providing Taiwan access to its Starlink satellite system, ‘The Economist’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) called out Elon Musk on Twitter, saying the value of democracy transcends that of money after the Tesla CEO said that China was likely to “integrate” Taiwan. Asked in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday last week if “China would make a move to take control of Taiwan,” Musk said that “the official policy of China is that Taiwan should be integrated... One does not need to read between the lines.” “There is a certain inevitability to the situation,” he added. “That is their policy, and I think you should take their word seriously,” Musk said. Regarding
VIGILANCE: The mask mandate would remain in effect at healthcare facilities, healthcare-related institutes and senior welfare facilities due to high infection risks there The mask mandate would be extended next month for three types of venues, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday as it reported that the average daily number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases increased by more than 30 percent last week. Local COVID-19 cases last week rose to an average of 204 daily hospitalizations, an increase of 32.5 percent from the previous week, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said. The number of prescriptions for oral anti-viral drugs to treat COVID-19 also increased to 23,503 courses — 17,424 courses of Paxlovid and 6,079 courses of molnupiravir. The average positivity rate
GROWING FAST: China continues to outpace the US in its production and commissioning of ships, as it seeks to expand ‘far seas operations,’ an ex-US Navy captain said China continued to increase its naval capacity last year, indicating that it is seeking to bolster its ability to invade Taiwan, a retired US Navy captain said. In an article published in this month’s issue of the US Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine, retired US Navy Captain James Fanell wrote that China commissioned 10 warships and one submarine last year, and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was continuing to commission the most annual tonnage globally, as it has done for at least the past five years. The PLAN is also outproducing the US Navy in total number of ships, tonnage and