Products removed from shelves after tofu factory found holding migrant workers

Tofu company allegedly held migrant workers against their will for almost 14 years

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Kaohsiung's Chan Shen Country Food Co., Ltd. (筌聖老家) tofu factory, which was allegedly holding migrant workers against their will for almost 14 years, has caused outrage from the Taiwanese society. Netizens have started boycotting Chan Shen's products after the scandal was uncovered.

The tofu factory's biggest retailer, Leezen (里仁), announced on its official page that it will remove all Chan Shen products from shelves and that it has suspended its cooperation with the company.

Kaohsiung police raided a dried tofu factory and rescued four migrant workers who had been locked inside on the second floor of the factory for up to 14 years and worked 15 hours every day.

An Indonesian worker named A-fan bought a cell phone from her Taiwanese coworker and texted her husband who is in Indonesia to call the police. Four migrant workers were finally rescued earlier this month.

According to the police, concerned departments have repeatedly conducted labor inspections over the past years, but failed to find any solid evidence that the factory was hiring illegal migrant workers.

"Those migrant workers are made to hide in a spare room every time the authorities visit the factory," said the investigating leader of the Gushan police station.

When asked why it had held those migrant workers against their will, the employer said, "They will cause me trouble if they go missing, that was all I was worried about. I'd have to contact the brokers if they should escape."