Foreign workers in Taiwan want reforms in the country’s labor law.
One of which is to abolish the broker system. Migrant workers insist that they should be given freedom to directly apply to employers without going through brokers. This is because broker fees are high which usually cost as high as 100,000 Taiwan dollars or 160,000 pesos.
“Yung broker system ay masyado ng talamak talaga dito, na ganun talaga yung sistema nila, tsaka marami sa mga politician na may kamag-anak suportado ng mga broker dito kaya mahirap siyang kuhanin,” said Sherry Macmod Wang, an OFW in Taiwan.
Workers also call for protection for domestic caregivers. They insisted that caregivers be included in the country’s labor standards law to get the same benefits that skilled and factory workers receive.
“Unang-una yun maisama lalong lalo na ang mga caretaker sa labor standard law. Pangalawa, ma-abolish ang mga brokers, brokers at ang karapatan ng mga maggagawa dito sa taiwan na mailipat sa kanilang trabaho kapag kailangan nilang ilipat,” said Norie Rosales, an OFW.
There are around 670,000 migrant workers in the country, according to the latest record of the Taiwan Ministry of Labor. The second largest number is from the Philippines which is at 117,317.
Migrant workers in Taiwan have been demanding for a wage increase, mandatory days off brokerage fee exemptions and the freedom to transfer to new employers.
The protesters also call on the Taiwan government to allow them to participate in policymaking for migrant workers.
“Migrant workers should be involved in the discussion of their rights not just the legislative yuan but also the migrant workers itself because the migrant workers are the people who know about what is the right and what is the better decision for them,” said Jonathan Parhusip, an Indonesian. — Reuters