I totally agree with you Andrew. I’m a french expat living in Hualien, here Aborigines are especially hit hard by social dumping consisting of illegally or legally exploiting migrant workers willing to work for peanuts. For instance the normal and acceptable rate of pay for one day of brush clearing work is 1500 to 2000 NTD. But guess what! Vietnamese workers are willing to do the same job for 800 NTD! Why? Because in Vietnam the average monthly wage is about 4500 NTD!!! So 800 NTD is worth 4 days of work in Vietnam!
It’s not that Taiwanese aren’t willing to work hard, it’s just they don’t want to bust their ass for a wage which is too low in comparison to the cost of living in Taiwan.
True story: I farm in Hualien…a couple years ago I did some brush clearing work to earn some additional money besides my unproductive farm… I asked for only 1500 NTD a day including free lunch…over here most employers who are themselves honest hard working people who know the meaning of “hard work” are still willing to pay 1500 to 2000 NTD a day for this kind of work…until that day when the wife of one of my employers politely complained I worked too slow compared to the young Vietnamese dude they illegally hired on sunday. (This guy legally, I presume so, worked at a geese slautherhouse on the weekday and made additional money doing some farm work on sunday.) Actually I wasn’t too slow, but not cheap enough! So after hearing her complaint, I resigned on the spot and before leaving I litterally threw at her face the 3750 NTD she gave me for two and half day of work.
I’m far from being a rich guy but whenever I employ someone here in Taiwan I never give less than 2000 NTD for a day of actual serious work.
True story 2: One day I made a visit to a permaculture association in Hualien…I was chatting with a lady in her fifties who advised me to hire migrant workers on my farm because they are super cheap…upon hearing that I was shocked and disgusted! I explained to her that this practice is called “social dumping” and because of it more and more local families can’t make a decent living…