Migrant workers in Taiwan demand abolishment of broker system

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/11/03
By: Emerson Lim

Taipei, Nov. 3 (CNA) Migrant workers from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines staged separate protests in Taipei on Sunday to demand the abolishment of all placement agencies and the enforcement of a compulsory government-to-government hiring system.

The protesting workers, holding streamers and placards reading "Abolish the brokerage system, we want G2G" (government to government) in their own languages, rallied outside the Indonesia Economic and Trade Office (IETO) to Taipei, the Manila Cultural and Economic Office (MECO) and the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office (VECO) in Taipei.

"The brokers do not help us in times of need, but they continue siphoning off our hard-earned salaries, which are supposed to be sent home to our families," said a Filipino worker Tommy during the protest.

Even though direct-hiring programs exist between Taiwan and several labor-exporting countries in Southeast Asia, job vacancies are still often controlled by placement agencies and brokers, said Meriam Hsu, a social worker with the Taiwan International Workers' Association (TIWA).

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