The exploitation of Filipino slaves workers in Taiwan has prompted Manila to move for a new deal, reports the Taipei Times.

Gopez said that during his recent visit to Taiwan, he has heard complaints from many Filipino workers that labor brokerage systems take huge slices of their NT$15,800 (US$470) monthly incomes and that “brokerage fees” have to be paid on a monthly basis, instead of just once.

The workers complained that they are required to pay NT$1,800 to the brokers in the first month of employment, followed by NT$1,700 in the second month and NT$1,500 in the third month and every month after that, Gopez said.

The workers also have to pay for their own health insurance, income tax and sometimes pay for their accommodation, Gopez said.

He added that his office was told by Taiwan’s labor affairs authorities that the NT$1,800 or NT$1,500 monthly payments are not “brokerage fees” but a kind of so-called “management payment.” This payment supposedly covers charges for matching the workers and their potential employers, charges for employment procedures and travel costs

POTS hosted a great article on this problem, which has vanished from sight during the self-indulgent orgy of attack and counter-attack between the DPP and the KMT over the Kaohisung Metro Scandal. POTS begins:

AS FALLOUT from the August Thai workers’ riot in Kaohsiung continues to settle, details of another case of abuse against migrant laborers working at a CTCI (中鼎工程股份有限公司) chemical factory in Mailiao, Yunlin County are starting to come to light. On Aug. 2, at least four Filipino laborers at the plant were severely beaten at a highway rest stop near Hsinchu. According to the workers, this was done to coerce them and 12 others into signing agreements nullifying their contracts and allowing for immediate repatriation to the Philippines. After the beatings, the workers were taken directly to the airport, where at least one, Gil Lebria, was carried through customs and onto the plane in a semi-conscious and in need of medical attention. A month earlier, these workers had been involved in a strike, protesting illegal side agreements and other highly questionable fees deducted from their pay. Protests in Taipei last weekend elicited a promise from Council of Labor Affairs Chairman Lee Ying-yuan to investigate the case. Officials at Formosa Plastics Group (to whom the workers were originally contracted), the Mailiao factory, and CTCI would not comment on the incident or would not return calls when contacted by POTS. The Asian Pacific Mission for Migrants claims that CTCI has not denied the beatings, in separate contradictory statements saying the workers fought amongst themselves or tried to escape. The question also remains as to how a severely beaten individual could be carried through Immigration and onto an airplane at Chiang Kai Shek International Airport. Here is Gil Lebria’s story as told to POTS: