Taiwan company gives NT$1,500 to each migrant worker to boost spending

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Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp. (Taoyuan City government photo)

Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp. (Taoyuan City government photo)

A manufacturing company in Taoyuan City has given NT$1,500 (US$50) to each of his approximately 500 migrant workers this week to promote spending and help revitalize the economy, the local government said Saturday (June 20).

Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp., which has manufacturing plants in the city's Zhongli and Guanyin districts, distributed the cash subsidies to its more than 500 migrant workers working in its production plants in Taoyuan, Chen Chiu-mei (陳秋媚), head of the Foreign Worker Affairs Section under the city's labor department, told CNA.

A total of NT$780,000 (US$26,440) in cash was given to the migrant workers.

Charles Chiang (江集斌), human resources manager at the company, said the management decided to give the money to its migrant workers because they are the ones most affected by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 new coronavirus pandemic.

"Whenever there is a lack of orders, it is always the migrant workers who bear the brunt because they have their overtime work hours cut," Chiang said, adding that the only way for them to receive a pay higher than the minimum wage is to work overtime.

Chiang added that another reason why the company decided to give the money to its migrants was because they are not included in a stimulus voucher program recently launched by the government to boost consumption after COVID-19 hurt consumer spending.

The vouchers, officially called "Triple Stimulus Vouchers" allow users to buy NT$3,000 worth of vouchers for NT$1,000, in effect giving people an extra NT$2,000 for free, but only Taiwanese citizens and their foreign spouses who hold residency permits are eligible to receive them.

"However, there is a belief at the company that we should treat migrant workers just like our own people, so that is why our chairman came up with the idea of distributing the money," Chiang said.

Around 95 percent of the company's migrant workers come from Vietnam, while the remaining 5 percent come from Thailand, according to Chiang.

Meanwhile, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), who attended a ceremony organized by the Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp. on Thursday, said Taoyuan had 115,782 migrant workers as of the end of May, which makes it the city in Taiwan with the most number of migrant workers.