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Indonesian laborer hiring remains normal: Labor Ministry

Indonesian laborer hiring remains normal: Labor Ministry

Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Laborer hiring from Indonesia by Taiwan remains normal, Labor Minister Chen Hsiung-wen said Thursday, even though the Southeast Asian country has announced that it will gradually stop sending domestic workers overseas over the coming five years. Chen made the comments in a hearing of the social welfare, health and environmental protection committee at the Legislative Yuan as lawmakers expressed concerns over the change in Indonesia's labor policy. Chen said that his ministry has not received any formal notice on the policy change from the Indonesian government and that Indonesian workers are still coming to Taiwan as usual. The Indonesian government has announced that it will gradually stop allowing domestic helpers to go to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau and other countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region within five years. However, it said Indonesia will begin exporting trained and skilled workers, which is expected to help Indonesian workers get higher salaries, while the government will provide training courses to strengthen its laborers' skills. Chen said that in a bilateral meeting on labor issues between Taiwan and Indonesia held Dec. 6, representatives from Jakarta did not mention anything about the policy change. However, they did make a request for increased salaries for domestic workers from the Southeast Asian country, Chen said, adding that as the wage hikes would affect about 200,000 employers in Taiwan, the government has to conduct a careful study of the issue. Wu Ching-ju, a member of the Taiwan International Workers' Association, said that wages for foreign domestic helpers in Taiwan have not changed for 18 years at NT$15,840 (US$499.7) per month. Wu said that after paying introduction fees to brokers and health insurance costs, foreign domestic workers receive less than US$7,000 for their first year of employment, while they have to work 14-18 hours a day and some of them even get no day off. However, Chen said that Taiwanese employers provide foreign domestic workers with food and lodging, so that the pay these foreign workers receive comes closer to the local minimum wage, which currently stands at NT$19,273. As of the end of January, Taiwan had allowed entry to 231,489 Indonesian workers, accounting for 41.6 percent of the total 556,412 foreign laborers in the country, ahead of Vietnam with 27.42 percent and the Philippines with 20.22 percent. (By Wei Yun-ling and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-27 17:46 GMT+08:00