Taiwan legalized the entry of blue collar migrant workers from Southeast Asia in 1992. This action not only impacted the Taiwan labor market, but also opened up contact between Taiwanese and Southeast Asian workers on multiple levels. These migrant workers coming to Taiwan suffer from high placement fees, lack of freedom to transfer between employers, unequal pay for equal work, etc. Taiwan’s migrant worker policies prioritize “management” as the main consideration. It deprives workers of their basic human rights, creating a new system of slavery in the 21st century.
The migrant workers used as cheap labor have also become the scapegoats for rising unemployment and the worsening of working conditions for local workers in Taiwan. Migrant workers suffer from social stigma, isolation and discrimination. Furthermore, the system causes alienation and hostility between laborers of different nationalities, which is harmful to the solidarity of all workers who share one fate..
從台灣勞工運動的脈絡出發，體認所有勞動者利害皆相關，一群勞工運動組織者於1999年10月成立台灣國際勞工協會（Taiwan International Workers Association，簡稱TIWA），是全台第一個以國際移工為服務對象的民間組織。
Recognizing that the struggles of different worker groups are interrelated, a group of labor organizers with long experience in the Taiwan labor movement established the Taiwan International Workers Association (TIWA) in October 1999. TIWA is the first NGO in Taiwan dedicated to serving migrant workers.
Aside from actively campaigning for labor rights, TIWA helps empower migrant workers to establish their own organizations. Over the past years, we have supported the establishment of the KApulungan ng SAmahang PIlipino (KASAPI) and the Ikatan Pekerja Indonesia Taiwan (IPIT). Furthermore, due to the prevalence of nationalism and cultural prejudice in Taiwanese society, we also organize cultural activities with the goal of transforming Taiwanese society’s image of international laborers and promoting mutual respect, social justice and equality.
In 2003, we gathered together grassroots organizations concerned with migrant workers to form an umbrella organization called the “Promoting Alliance for the Household Service Act” (PAHSA). We advocate for domestic workers who work in private homes to have their labor rights protected by law. In 2007, PAHSA changed its name to the “Migrants Empowerment Network in Taiwan” (MENT). The alliance is the most important force promoting the migrant workers’ movement in Taiwan.
TIWA participates in local labor and social movements, including organizing the workers involved in big labor disputes to fight against the capitalists and the government for their rights. For example, TIWA organized workers affected by factory closings and toll collectors. By insisting on the protection of domestic workers’ working conditions, TIWA has joined the movement to form a social welfare system for long-term health care. We propose “justice in caring,” emphasizing that neither care-giver nor care-receiver should be sacrificed. The government should take responsibility for long term care.
The concept behind TIWA is that all workers share the same fate, regardless of nationality, and should have equal protection of working conditions and labor rights. TIWA is committed to maintaining the labor and human rights of international migrant workers, as well as to the reform of the Taiwan migrant labor system.
- 廢除私人仲介制度 強制政府對政府直接引進
- Abolish the private broker system, implement Government-to-Government (G2G) direct hiring.
- Legal protection for domestic workers’ working conditions.
- Freedom to transfer between employers.
- Abolish the working and residence time limitation for blue collar migrant workers.
- Migrant workers should have the right to vote on policies that affect them.