「挺移工」遭網友出征漫罵 洪申翰:勞雇不該站在對立面 | Migrant workers are not the enemy of employers, and vice versa: DPP Legislator

Legislator Hung Sung-san is striving to find the best solution to resolve the strained relationship between migrant domestic workers and employers. (Photo courtesy of Hung Sung-han/Facebook)


More and more families in Taiwan need to hire domestic caregivers to help take care of their elders. In recent years, there are about to be as many as 250,000 migrant workers working in domestic care in Taiwan, but there are frequent scenes of confrontation between caregivers and employers, which has become a problem that the whole society of Taiwan needs to address.


In response to this issue, legislator Hung Sung-han (洪申翰) said that many employers who need to hire foreign nursing workers are sometimes underprivileged in society as well.


He pointed out that these people are often with severe disabilities or physical illness, and sometimes choose to hire foreign migrant workers because of their dire financial situation.


However, the situation also highlights the pay gap between domestic workers and foreign migrant workers, which in turn led Hung to point out the problems that need to be discussed now.

He called on the public to think about how to avoid the thinking that “in helping migrant workers protect or secure their rights, it equates to a loss for employers.”


Over the years, because of his continuous efforts in speaking up for migrant workers, Hung is often the subject of criticism and ridicule from employers. Many seem to think that he only focuses on helping foreign migrant workers fight for their rights, but does not pay attention to Taiwanese employers. Therefore, he has even been dubbed “Asia’s legislator.”


Regarding the situation, Hung admitted that he knew all about it, and had thus received calls from employer groups to listen to their demands and requests.


During the conversation, he realized that some of the issues mentioned did not place employers and migrant workers on opposite sides of a spectrum, but rather, both are victims to imperfect policies.


Hung cited the recent issue of illegal “purchase fees” as an example. He explained that it’s not only migrant workers who are affected but also vulnerable groups (employers) whose families are not affluent.


“What I can do is to think about the solution from the perspective of migrant workers and also from the perspective of employers,” he said.


Hung stressed, “To avoid worsening the situation, the government must invest public resources in a timely manner, and both sides will benefit under the protection of migrant workers’ work rights.”


He further explained, “We hope to pay more attention to the working rights of migrants, including ensuring that migrant workers have a good working environment or good working conditions so that they can actually provide quality care for their employers.”


However, he also understands that for low-income families in Taiwan, the cost of hiring caregivers can easily become an extraordinary burden.


In this case, he argues that Taiwan’s governmental long-term care service should incorporate migrant workers’ employer families into the system so that migrant workers can be protected under certain working conditions through shared resources.


If the migrant workers are included in the long-term care service system, they can have more flexibility in their work, and they can take shifts to have more time to rest and recharge.


At the same time, he also hopes that the government’s investment in public resources will help raise the salary of migrant workers so that they can get the same rights as domestic workers and reduce the burden on employers.


Hung said that although this is a policy they are constantly pushing forward, how to transfer long-term care service resources to families who employ migrant workers will involve the Ministry of Labor (MOL, 勞動部) and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW, 衛福部), and communication, coordination, and integration between them are also challenges that all need to overcome together.


Hung promised that he would try his best to find more possibilities to make this ideal come true quickly, and improve the working environment of migrant workers as well as care services in Taiwan as a whole.