|Workers enquire about jobs and working conditions inTaiwan at the Ha Noi Employment Centre. Fourteen Vietnamese companies and 11 Taiwanese job placement companies have been forced to stop sending workers to Taiwan after charging excessive fees.—VNA/VNS Photo Huu Viet
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has suspended the activities of 14 Vietnamese and 11 Taiwanese employment companies involved in sending Vietnamese workers to Taiwan for regulation violations.
According to the Department of Overseas Labour (DOLAB), the companies were requested to temporarily cease the activity for 20-60 days as penalty for imposing higher brokerage fees on workers than the amount regulated by the Government and deducting money from their salaries or meal allowance.
The department noted that the decision was taken so that the authorities can further investigate and seek appropriate punitive measures towards violations. Furthermore, once the authorities had completed the investigations, financial fines are being considered for the violating companies.
During the time of suspension, companies were requested not to conduct any advisory or training activities that prepare the workers for working in Taiwan.
They were also requested to submit an explanatory report to account for their actions and make a declaration not to re-violate.
The list of Vietnamese companies include Vinagimex JSC, Emico, Vietcom Human JSC, Isalco, Vinamotor, Vietracimex, Letco, Bac Giang Friendship JSC, Polimex, Simco SDA, Phutho Co, Songhong IM, VICM Jtd, and Cienco 8.
A representative of the Department of Overseas Labour claimed that one of the challenges to the investigation and inspection work of relevant authorities is workers' failure to co-operate as they feared that exposing the companies' ploys may affect their own rights or they may also be punished for not reporting the malpractices and accepted the wrong-doings.
She explained that workers wanted to work overseas at all costs, yet they were not fully prepared for the difficulties they would encounter in Taiwan.
For instance, the workers did not know how much money they will need to meet their daily expenses in Taiwan, so they just agreed to the high debt of the brokerage fee in the hopes that they will be able to soon repay their debt after they started working in the country.
Earlier, in November last year, the Department of Overseas Labour also temporarily suspended the activity of four companies involved in sending workers to Taiwan as they had co-operated with Taiwanese brokerage companies, which were found to have imposed higher fees on the workers than those regulated by the Government.
Dao Cong Hai, DOLAB's deputy director, asserted that the authorities were determined to discipline the activity of sending workers overseas in the coming period in a bid to reduce the frequency of violations and protect the rights of Vietnamese workers overseas.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs sent an official letter to labour-export companies requesting a reduction in fees for Vietnamese workers before their departures to Taiwan.
According to the request, as of February 1, the total costs charged to a worker in industrial fields before his or her departure to Taiwan must not exceed US$4,000 for a three-year labour contract.
For those Vietnamese seeking employment in hospitals and health care centres, such as nurses and caretakers in Taiwan, the costs must not exceed $3,300 for a three-year labour contract.
Regarding the pre-departure deposit, the ministry emphasised that this cost must not exceed $1,000, as stipulated earlier in Decree No. 21 on the ceiling deposits for guest workers. — VNS