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Indonesia demands monthly bonus for fishermen working in Taiwan

Indonesia demands monthly bonus for fishermen working in Taiwan

Jakarta, July 29 (CNA) Indonesia said Wednesday it will no longer allow Taiwanese fishing boats to hire Indonesian crew members unless employers pay the workers a monthly bonus of NT$1,000 (US$31.75).
The Indonesia government will only accept applications from brokers whose clients are willing to pay the monthly bonus to Indonesian fishermen working on their fishing boats, Agusdin Subiantoro, deputy head of the Agency of Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, told CNA Wednesday.
The official's comments came a day after representatives of several Taiwanese brokerage companies went to Indonesia to meet with officials from the Indonesian agency and reach a consensus on the treatment of Indonesian fishermen in Taiwan.
Many Taiwanese brokerage firms received notification on March 16 that Indonesia would stop sending fishermen to Taiwan until their rights were better protected.
The unilateral announcement caught many deep-sea and inshore fishing operators in Taiwan off guard, as Indonesian fishery workers reportedly account for about 70 percent of the foreign nationals working in Taiwan's fishery sector.
At Tuesday's meeting, Indonesian government officials and the Taiwanese brokers reached consensus on two issues, but the Manpower Agencies Association of Republic of China (Taiwan) said it could not accept the monthly bonus demand.
The two sides agreed that Taiwanese employers need to provide proper bedding and better living quarters for crew members on their boats and that employers cannot deduct the cost of food from the fishermen's wages.
An official from Taiwan's representative office in Indonesia, who also attended Tuesday's meeting, said the monthly bonus was not part of the consensus reached by the two sides.
The Agency of Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers acknowledged that Taiwan did not agree to the demand for the bonus, but it said the bonus was a necessary condition for a consensus to be achieved. (By Jay Chou and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-24 04:54 GMT+08:00