CLA plans to raise reward for reporting illegal foreign workers


TAIPEI — The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), the top authority on labor affairs, has stepped up measures to crack down on illegal foreign workers in Taiwan, including a plan to raise rewards for people who report them. A fatal accident at a construction site on a freeway in central Taiwan that killed seven people — six of them illegal foreign workers — further exposed the problem of the employment of runaway foreign workers, which Premier Wu Den-yih has ordered must be addressed. The CLA said that every year, the council has a budget of NT$10 million (US$322,000) for rewarding people who inform on runaway workers. Each report of an offense that is later proved true is rewarded with NT$5,000. However, the award budget has never been used up, the council said. The CLA is considering increasing the amount, it said. CLA statistics show that since Taiwan began to import workers from countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam in 1990, the number of runaway foreign workers recorded so far has reached over 90,000. While some 60,000 runaways have been caught and repatriated, there are more than 30,000 people still unaccounted for, official tallies show.