Focus Taiwan App
Download

Small-scale protest staged to oppose Indian migrant workers

12/03/2023 05:30 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
People sign a petition to the government in one of the tents set up by the organizers of the demonstration in Taipei Sunday. CNA photo Dec. 3, 2023
People sign a petition to the government in one of the tents set up by the organizers of the demonstration in Taipei Sunday. CNA photo Dec. 3, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan's labor shortage was held in Taipei on Sunday.

During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on downtown Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest's chief initiator, a woman identified only as "Yuna," told reporters they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan.

According to Yuna, who refused to reveal her identity, most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month.

She also accused the government of failing to explain why migrant workers from a "yet another source country" needed to be introduced, adding that the government had not provided a comprehensive evaluation report on how it had concluded this move was essential.

Yuna alleged, without evidence, that more migrant workers in Taiwan would lead to stagnant wages.

Demonstrators leave Post-in notes on a board set up by the organizers opposing the introduction of migrant workers from India, in Taipei Sunday. CNA photo Dec. 3, 2023
Demonstrators leave Post-in notes on a board set up by the organizers opposing the introduction of migrant workers from India, in Taipei Sunday. CNA photo Dec. 3, 2023

She also said that there were currently "more than 80,000 unaccounted for migrant workers," which she said, was "causing security concerns in the country," without elaborating.

Yuna called on the government to address current problems in the workforce before introducing more migrant workers and to properly supervise those already in the country.

The report referred to is a Bloomberg piece released on Nov. 10 that stated India and Taiwan were in talks regarding "tens of thousands of workers being sent to the island as early as next month."

The Bloomberg report said Taiwan "could hire as many as 100,000 Indians to work at factories, farms and hospitals," citing Taiwanese officials who had asked not to be identified.

Participants hold signs showing the call rejecting the introduction of migrant workers from India, in Taipei Sunday. CNA photo Dec. 3, 2023
Participants hold signs showing the call rejecting the introduction of migrant workers from India, in Taipei Sunday. CNA photo Dec. 3, 2023

In response, the Taiwanese government confirmed an employment mobility agreement could be signed before the end of this year.

However, Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) said the figure of 100,000 workers was "inaccurate" and that talks were ongoing.

The planned introduction is meant to help tackle the labor shortage in Taiwan, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said in a Nov. 15 press release.

It added that all migrant workers will have to provide proof of not having a criminal record.

Nov. 13: Taiwan, India to ink migrant worker MOU by year-end: Labor minister

Around 2,700 Indian workers are currently employed in professional jobs in Taiwan, such as in the high-tech sector, according to the MOL.

About 18 million Indian workers live in various countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, the MOL added.

There were approximately 750,000 migrant workers in Taiwan as of the end of September, with the majority coming from Indonesia (267,194), ahead of Vietnam (261,301) and the Philippines (152,026), according to MOL data.

(By Joseph Yeh)

Enditem/kb

Related News

Nov. 26: Rumor on mass Indian worker influx China's 'cognitive warfare': Source

Nov. 23: Academic association supports gradual introduction of Indian workers

    0:00
    /
    0:00
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.
    172.30.142.56