Back to list

Filipino workers accuse Taiwanese employer of abuse

2012/05/07 19:16:44

Taipei, May 7 (CNA) Filipino workers at Taiwan Glass Industry Corp. accused their employer Monday of abusing them and called the working conditions at the company's factory in Taoyuan County harsh.

More than 10 Filipino workers who work at the factory said at a press conference that they are forced to work eight to 12 hours per day in temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius and that their shifts are changed frequently, as often as 12 times a month.

Though NT$4,000 (US$136) is deducted from their pay every month for accommodation and meals, the workers said they felt constantly underfed.

They also complained they were not provided with hot showers during the winter in their dormitories and did not have air-conditioning in the summer.

The Filipino workers also accused the company of holding on to their passports, not paying them extra for working overtime, and not giving them pay slips with information in their own language.

Representatives of the Taiwan International Workers Association said a Filipino worker named Michael was found dead in a company dormitory April 16, raising questions over whether his death may have been caused by the factory's harsh environment.

Lin Shih-teng, a section chief at the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training under the Council of Labor Affairs, said at the press conference that inspectors from the county's Labor and Human Resources Bureau conduct regular inspections at the factory once every three months.

The last inspection of conditions in the factory's dormitories, dated March 8, was favorable, she said, and vowed to inquire more deeply into the matter in light of the complaints made by the workers.

Lin said she will ask the company to make hot showers available to employees, and to provide pay slips with explanations written in the workers' native languages.

If improvements are not made within a given time, the company will be fined up to NT$300,000 and have its foreign worker quota reduced, she said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Shu-fen questioned the authenticity of the inspection report compiled by the county's labor bureau, but bureau chief Chien Hsiu-lien said it was highly unlikely that inspectors would forge the reports.

She promised to look into whether inspectors failed to conduct a thorough enough check of the facility.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ann Chen)