TAIPEI (The China Post) — Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Taiwan’s border control is still in place, which means foreign migrant workers and foreign professionals are still unable to enter the country. This in turn is causing a shortage of workers in various industries.
However, the application for the project to build additional gas-fired combined-cycle units for power generation at Taipower’s Datan Power Plant has brought in 863 foreign workers, with 409 already arrived and working.
Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) chairman Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) announced that another 200 migrant workers are expected to arrive in October and November as well.
As the past two years saw many major occupational accidents in the manufacturing industry, the Ministry of Labor (MOL, 勞動部) has designated 2021 as the year of “disaster reduction” in the construction industry and is requiring labor inspection agencies to increase the number of inspections.
MOL Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) led a team to inspect the new construction project of Taipower’s Datan Power Plant on Oct. 14, and uncovered a total of 22 violations, halted work at two locations, and fined the company around NT$270,000.
The main violations were the failure to set up fall protection installations for high-level operations and the sinking of the outer support seat of mobile cranes.
In response to the results of the inspection, Yang said that the company will definitely implement improvements item by item.
Regarding the media’s on-site inquiries about the shortage of workers, Yang said that after the total ban on the entry of migrant workers, the Datan Project applied for 863 migrant workers on a project basis, and there are now 409 people working in the plant.
In October and November, two more groups of about 200 migrant workers will enter the country, and they will comply with the relevant epidemic prevention regulations, Yang added.
He also pointed out that the factory did not merely invite blue-collar migrant workers, but professional foreign technicians as well.