Ban on onsite factory dorms still in planning stages: MOL

Taipei, A ban on onsite factory dormitories in Taiwan will not be imposed any time soon because it will require amendments to the relevant regulations, which must be preceded by inter-ministerial discussions, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Thursday.

Hsueh Chien-chung (???), a section chief in the MOL's Workforce Development Agency, said the agency will have to coordinate with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on the amendments.

In May and June, non-governmental groups staged protests calling for attention to housing safety issues, after two factory fires claimed the lives of nearly a dozen migrant workers in factory dorms this year.

One of the demands made by the protesters was for the relocation of factory worker dormitories to a safe distance from the factories.

Hsueh said the labor ministry is working on the regulations to implement the ban on onsite factory dorms and also on a proposal to penalize businesses that do not implement proper safety measures for migrant workers.

If approved by the Legislature, the amendment to Articles 54 and 72 of the Employment Service Act will lower the quota of foreign hires by five for every migrant worker death resulting from negligence by the company, he said.

In the case of injury to a migrant worker, the quota will be reduced by one each time, Hsueh said, adding that the MOL will give more details of the proposal next week.

According to the latest government statistics, there were 699,379 migrant workers in Taiwan as of September.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel