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Envoy requests minimum wage for Indonesians in Taiwan
Publication Date : 24-04-2013
The Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei (IETO) has requested that Indonesian workers in Taiwan be covered by a minimum wage of NT$19,047 (US$638.78) per month.
The amount is NT$3,207 more than the current figure of NT$15,840.
It has also demanded that businesses looking to recruit Indonesian workers directly must meet for an interview at the IETO's head office in Taipei in order to avoid dispatching agencies.
The IETO proposed these two requests in March to the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), but they were turned down. The two sides will hold negotiations on the issue in June.
Some have argued the change would impact Taiwan's domestic policies related to foreign workers and would put a heavier burden on families who employ long-term caregivers.
The number of directly recruited Indonesian workers in Taiwan contributes significantly to the overall number of the nation's foreign workers, with the figure reaching roughly 72 per cent between 2008 and 2012. The numbers of Filipino and Vietnamese workers are both 13 per cent.
The IETO stated that demanding business owners to visit Taipei for an interview was in order to avoid foreign workers being recruited by dispatch companies. In some cases, such agencies recruit foreign workers for Taiwanese companies to earn broker fees, according to the IETO.
The request has caused a problem for some factory owners in Central and Southern Taiwan, where a large portion of foreign workers are hired, mainly for factory work.
Since foreign workers are covered by the Labor Standards Act of Taiwan, the IETO said that a minimum wage is a reasonable request. Home caregivers, however, are not subject to the act. As a result, the average monthly salary of a caregiver is NT$15,840.
The CLA and IETO attempted to hold talks in April, but the Indonesian side was determined to push forward with the two proposals.
“Their demands are highly reasonable, which makes them hard to turn down,” the CLA said.
A representative from the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training Chen Rui-chia stated that this demand would result in a salary difference among foreign workers who are directly recruited or employed through dispatch agencies.
“Their demands would be a blow to the recruitment system, leading to employers wanting to find foreign workers through dispatch agencies,” Chen said.