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Migrant workers group demand fair treatment of fishing boat workers

Migrant workers group demand fair treatment of fishing boat workers

Taipei, Aug. 24 (CNA) Members of Migrant Empowerment Network in Taiwan (MENT) staged a rally in front of the Ministry of Labor Monday, demanding that Taiwan's fishing boat owners stop deducting meal and lodging fees from workers' wages.
They also demanded that the MOL punish boat operators who have violated the Labor Standards Act regarding full payment of wages to foreign workers.
Wu Ching-ju, spokesperson for MENT, said that since 2001, foreign fishing workers' wages have been below the minimum legal level following a government consent to boat owners to deduct NT$4,000 (US$122) -- a figure that was later, in 2007, increased to NT$5,000 -- from their monthly pay. Foreign workers hired to work on board Taiwanese fishing boats have commonly been treated poorly either on the ship or off, when docking at ports, she said.
She accused the MOL of allowing boat operators to collude with employment agents in exploiting these foreign workers without trying to solve the dispute.
In response, a MOL official in charge of foreign laborers said ship owners that do not give full pay to employees will be fined NT$300,000 and have their quota revoked for employing foreign workers.
Employment agencies that charge workers extra fees will be fined an amount 20 times that of the extra fee and have their licenses suspended for at least three months, said the official who requested anonymity.
Any foreign worker facing suspected exploitation can file a complaint through the #1955 hot line, he said, adding that local labor authorities will investigate and mete out punishments if the alleged violations of law were found to be true. (By Wei Yun-ling and S.C. Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-27 01:08 GMT+08:00