TaiwaN'S newest political party, Migrante Sectoral Party

The begining of equal civil rights for all “the people on Taiwan”.
Taiwan’S newest political party, Migrante Sectoral Party Taiwan Chapter

[quote]Migrante Sectoral Party Platform

Position on the July 27- 28, 2006 National Conference on Sustainable Economic Development Activity

The Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP) Taiwan Chapter vehemently opposes any anti-migrant and anti- worker proposal that the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) or any business entity wishes to push this coming July 27-28, 2006. The said activity is called the National Conference on Sustainable Economic Development Activity, which is similar to the Economic Development Advisory Conference (EDAC) in August 2001.

What the MSP adheres to is that any National Economic Development Plan must take into consideration the working peoples needs for the protection of their rights, just wages and job security. This will insure that any such plan would inspire the workers to increase their productivity and not the other way around thus ensuring economic development.

During the EDAC in 2001, the CLA through the urgings of capitalist groups introduced flexible working hours on all manufacturing workers that reduced their take home pay and benefits. At the same time, migrant
workers in manufacturing and construction jobs had wage cuts from NT$2,500 to NT$4,000 a month in the guise of payment for their own board and lodging.

Related to this the CLA legalized the collection of brokers fees in the guise of monthly service fees on migrant workers of all job categories. Previous to this, the CLA stated that brokers fees were illegal and were collected in the guise of loans. In effect, the migrant workers had to endure two wage cuts when these were implemented in 2002.

Ironically, there is no mention on the conditions of caretakers working in households and in nursing homes and hospitals. The Labor Standards Law does not cover the former including domestic helpers while the said law has covered the latter since three years ago. Most of these workers have limited or no days off. In an initial survey of MSP, 87% of Filipino caretakers and domestic helpers have limited or no days off.
At the same time, all of the migrant workers in all job categories are subject to contract substitution through the rampant practice of making them sign so called side agreements. They have no standard employment contract that should be under the protection of the Labor Law and that does not allow any such agreements.

During these years National Conference on Sustainable Economic Development, we would vehemently oppose the following proposals of the CLA and Capitalist groups.

Abolishing the minimum monthly wage of migrant workers. Importing migrant workers to do night shift without paying them night differential that is more than what is stipulated in the Labor Standards Law
Legalizing outsourcing or subcontracting

For one, the migrant workers are already the lowest paid workers in Taiwan. They are only paid the minimum wage, which has remained stagnant for the last 10 years. At the same time, they had to endure two wage deductions in 2002 when those in manufacturing and construction had to pay for their own board and lodging and all job categories had to pay their brokers. The latter is outrageous, as the CLA has already admitted that what the migrant workers are paying for is actually a management fee.

Other than this the migrants are made to pay the following:
Airfare to and from Taiwan
Alien Residence Certificate
Medical Examinations
Health Insurance
Medical Insurance

In effect, these extortions on the migrant workers and the proposal to do away with the minimum wage will not contribute to their productivity but would only breed resentment and insecurity among the workers. Especially, so if the actual monthly wage of a migrant worker in the manufacturing industry would only amount to NT$9,618 in their first year of work. What more if the wage is cut further.
The three major strikes organized by the 5,000 Filipino and Thai workers in Formosa Plastics Corporation (FPC) in less than a year is a manifestation of this problem.

With regards to importing migrant workers to do night shift, we will only support this if the workers are paid that is more than what is stipulated in the Labor Standards Law (LSL). At present what the LSL stipulates is that the employer has to only provide an additional meal during night shift to the workers. The migrant workers should be paid the equivalent of
what they give to the locals at NT$300 per night.
We are also against outsourcing and subcontracting as this lowers the basic wage and benefits of all workers. This will only lower the purchasing power of the workers that would have a great effect on the economy of Taiwan. At the same time, this will force more workers to be hired as contract or part time workers without the benefits and rights of regular workers. This will only add anxiety to the minds ofthe workers¡¦ as their jobs would be always underthreat of being taken away and for migrants of being sent home even when their contracts have not yet ended. This is counterproductive to development.

This is also one of the reasons why many migrant workers are in Taiwan as this has been implemented in their countries of origin.

Furthermore, we would like to propose to the coming National Conference on Sustainable Economic Development Activity the following:

  1.  Abolish the monthly board and lodging fee 
  2.  Abolish the monthly brokers fee in the guise of service fees 
  3.  That employers pay for the ARC, medical checkups and airfare to and from Taiwan of all migrant workers
  4.  That all caretakers and domestic helpers be given mandatory days off and statutory holidays
  5.  That all migrant workers be provided astandard employment contract under the protection of the Labor Standards Law and that all side agreements

should not be accepted.
6. Abolish the Labor Flexibility Schemes

We have taken up this position because any anti-migrant and anti-worker proposals would be inconsistent with any national development plan. All working people should benefit to any such plan and not
only capitalists and other employers.

Migrant and Local Workers Unite to Protect Our Rights, Just Wages and Job Security!

July 27, 2006

Got any more information about this? Who are the main office holders? Mailing address? Website? I’m a foreigner so I’m not sure if I can be a member of a Taiwanese political party, but I’d like to express my support in person and maybe interview the chairman or another high-ranking party member. When was the party formed? And I know there are dozens and dozens of political parties here, but how come the media didn’t pick this one up?

Migrante Sectoral Party is a Phillipines based political party that represents the interests of overseas Filipinos. It has chapters in Japan, Taiwan, Macau, and Belgium.

Their website with limited information is here: migrante.150m.com/

Ok, so it’s not a Taiwanese party. Just a branch office of a Phillipine party. That explains the lack of media. Not even for foreigners, either, really. What kind of power/authority does this office have in Taiwan?

No, it’s not a Taiwanese political party, but then again neither is the KMT. The Philipino’s are the largest group of “foreigners” in Taiwan as defined by the ROC.
It is illegal for “foreigners” to participate in the political process in Taiwan under the current pseudo-democratic system currently in place under the ROC. Disenfranchised “foreigners” represent a significant percentage of the population of “the people on Taiwan” as defined in the Taiwan Relations Act. We are legally residing in Taiwan under both local and international law. As lawful, tax paying residents we have a right to participate in the democratic process. The current policy of forbidding minorities in Taiwan from participation only demonstrates that democracy in Taiwan is not a true or representational democracy but a pseudo-democracy being used to as a tool justify the waning American support for the ROC.
That doesn’t mean that the Migrant Sectoral Party is not a political party in Taiwan. As a matter of fact they carry more weight and have more members than many of the smaller Taiwanese, Chinese or aboriginal political parties in Taiwan.
The fact that the ROC doesn’t recognize the Migrant Sectoral Party as a legitimate political party does not necessarily detract from it’s credibility. If viewed in the context of Taiwan’s international position, the Migrant Sectoral Party may have more credibility than any of the current Taiwanese, Chinese or aboriginal political parties in Taiwan because it is recognized by the international community as a legitimate, international political organization.

Did I mention they recognize and use English as an official language?

Really? I thought it was still Indonesians followed by Thais.

I think the Vietnamese are the largest resident group, followed by Thais, and oh I dunno, people from Mars. I have the statistics here somewhere.

Foreign workers in Taiwan by nationality (Council for Labor Affairs, May 2006):

Thai: 95,971
Filipino: 95,184
Vietnamese: 77,454
Indonesian: 64,800

Of course, these stats don’t include ‘foreign spouses’ of which the largest group by far are Vietnamese. The most recent figures I have found (2004) state 52,655 Vietnamese, the next largest number being Indonesians (9,000). I doubt those figures have declined in the past two years. Interestingly the number of Thai labourers has dropped by 7,000 since 2004, probably as a result of the Kaohsiung MRT fiasco and other bad press (including the oh-so-lovely Formosa Plastics).

Eric’s a little off-base with his figures, but I think he’s backed the right horse this time. I don’t know much about Migrante’s political activities in the Philippines, but in Taiwan they act as a de facto union for people who are denied the legal right to such. If you’d like contact details for Migrante’s Taipei representative, please PM me.

What rights should these be? And what participatory rights is the MSP fighting for?

Do you mean minorities or foreigners? Aboriginals in Taiwan have full rights to participate, demonstrate, and vote. The same goes for naturalized ROC citizens who are not ethnically Chinese.