Taipei has 66,595 foreign residents, according to the National Immigration Agency, with about 45,000 legally employed workers, and it has seen an increase in labor disputes filed by those workers recently, UDN reported. There were 775 labor disputes involving foreign workers in the first six months of 2017, an increase of 1% from the second half of 2016.
Indonesian workers were involved in the most labor disputes, accounting for more than 70% of the total, according to the Taipei City Foreign and Disabled Labor Office (FDLO). The office noted that many of the disputes were due to cultural and religious differences that conflicted with employers, such as not allowing time for prayer and providing meals containing pork to the employees.
Every year wage disputes rank in among the top three complaints filed. So far this year, the total wages in dispute have exceeded NT$2.67 million (US$87,900). In many cases, the wage dispute arises from an agreement that the employer would reimburse the agency fee but then failed to do so.
The FDLO said that it has a 24-hour hotline at 1955 for foreign workers to call for information or advice on filing a complaint. The office has operators who speak Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, and Bahasa Indonesia. Since the introduction of the hotline, the FDLO has seen an increase in the number of complaints filed against employers.
Taiwan had 653,804 migrant workers, 243,804 of whom were employed as caregivers or domestic helpers, as of the end of June, according to Ministry of Labor statistics.