Migrant Workers Call for Justice in Working as Long-Term Caretakers

Migrant Workers Call for Justice in Working as Long-Term Caretakers
Photo Credit:TIWA台灣國際勞工協會 CC
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For both family members and foreign caretakers, they work 14 hours a day, which lasts for an average of 10 years. In a long run, this is an enormous pressure both mentally and physically. However, the government and society do not see their plight.

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CNA reports, the migrant workers’ parade that’s held once every two years will be held on December 13. The event organizers estimate that there will be around 1,500 people taking part in the parade, including migrant workers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Local labor unions, student organizations and NGOs will attend as well. The destination of the parade is the headquarters of DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, and the participants will deliver a petition there.

Apple Daily reports that counselor at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hsinchu’s immigrants and migrant workers service center, Liu Xiao-ying says that currently there are 770 thousand people in need of long-term care in Taiwan. Among them, 58% are taken care of by their family members and 30% hire foreign nursing workers. Only 4% are taken care of by institutions and 5% are offered an assistance service by the government.

That is to say, services provided by the government and institutions account for less than 10%. For both family members and foreign caretakers, they work 14 hours a day, which lasts for an average of 10 years. In a long run, this is an enormous pressure both mentally and physically. However, the government and society do not see their plight.

China Times reports, a bilingual staff member of the Taiwan International Workers’ Association, Ueriam Hsu, says that foreign caretakers don’t have standard wages or labor insurance. They don’t even have time to rest. She says, “We are workers, not slaves!" Hsu also criticizes that the Taiwanese government is always blind when it comes to issues related to migrant workers.

Guo Guan-jun, member of a worker’s organization, says that aside from protecting the rights of migrant workers in the workplace, the lives of the elderly should also be guaranteed. The long-term care policies deliberately depress and exploit the working conditions of migrant workers and make long-term care services a business, which has caused serious problems for those who can’t afford the services.

UDN reports, the migrant workers’ groups have put forward four appeals regarding the system of migrant workers. They include:

1. Abolishing private agency systems
2. Emphasizing a nation-to-nation direct hiring procedure
3. Stressing migrant workers’ right to change their employers
4. Canceling the cut-off point of their working year
5. Repealing the provision that requires migrant workers to leave Taiwan for one day after the expiration of three-year contracts to avoid exploitation from agents

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources: