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Taiwanese workers rights?

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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 10 Nov 2011, 08:59

TheLostSwede: Whilst I do think that the average Taiwanese worker gets treated like shit, they also don't bring anything of real value to the company. They are easily replaced because it's easy to replace a zombie who screws around on Facebook all day. They're regarded as worth little because they are worth little, and they're worth little because they're regarded as worth little. It's a bit of a chicken and the egg thing. Regardless, I wouldn't want the average Taiwanese person working for me. I wouldn't try to treat them like shit, but I could see how my patience would wear very thin, very quickly and I'd probably start treating them like shit because they wouldn't care enough to make me want to value them. Life is a two way street. If the average worker here doesn't give a shit, why should the boss give a shit? Frankly, if I had carte blanche at the school where I work, I'd fire half of the teachers here within the first hour, though the problem would be that the next wave of replacements, and the wave after that, and the one after that ad infinitum, would be just as bad. The incompetence, lack of initiative and sheer laziness here is astounding, and I don't think reworking the incentives to provide more carrot and less stick would necessarily make any difference. The only thing many of them do understand is a bigger stick. So, fuck 'em.
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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby funkymonkey » 10 Nov 2011, 11:53

TheLostSwede wrote:You need a reality check my friend, in as much as there are worker rights, most of them don't apply as people don't dare to force issues here as they're afraid to lose their jobs. Everyone in Taiwan is replaceable when it comes to work, as businesses here don't value their employees, they're just there to do what they're paid to do and nothing else.

QFT. It's painfully accurate.
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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby TheLostSwede » 10 Nov 2011, 13:39

GuyInTaiwan wrote:TheLostSwede: Whilst I do think that the average Taiwanese worker gets treated like shit, they also don't bring anything of real value to the company. They are easily replaced because it's easy to replace a zombie who screws around on Facebook all day. They're regarded as worth little because they are worth little, and they're worth little because they're regarded as worth little. It's a bit of a chicken and the egg thing. Regardless, I wouldn't want the average Taiwanese person working for me. I wouldn't try to treat them like shit, but I could see how my patience would wear very thin, very quickly and I'd probably start treating them like shit because they wouldn't care enough to make me want to value them. Life is a two way street. If the average worker here doesn't give a shit, why should the boss give a shit? Frankly, if I had carte blanche at the school where I work, I'd fire half of the teachers here within the first hour, though the problem would be that the next wave of replacements, and the wave after that, and the one after that ad infinitum, would be just as bad. The incompetence, lack of initiative and sheer laziness here is astounding, and I don't think reworking the incentives to provide more carrot and less stick would necessarily make any difference. The only thing many of them do understand is a bigger stick. So, fuck 'em.


Wow... and I though I was being harsh...
People here aren't any more incompetent than anywhere else in the world, it's just that they're using to being told what to do all the time, so Taiwan has ended up being a nation where everything is micro managed. I work alongside the tech industry here and I've seen all sorts of employees here, from the most useless and unfit people for their job to people that are amazingly good at what they're doing, yet they're all treated the same by the management. Part of the reason for the way things are here is the education system and that's hopefully where someone like you can make a difference. People here needs to learn to think for themselves, but most companies don't like employees like that, so it's a vicious circle in a way. Try to change things and higher management gets upset and gets rid of you, do something in a different way and the general staff won't be able to follow, as they're not taught to think on their own. It's a difficult situation, especially when you add that so many people lie about their work history and school accreditation here, many of which are never found out for whatever reason. Someone from my girlfriends old company lied his way into her new company, but was found out and got fired pretty quickly, but that's unusual here imho. Anyhow, I think you should give a shit because that's the only way change can happen. I can just look at what one of my friends here has accomplished at the company he works for as upper middle management, although that's only because his bosses understand what he's trying to do and he's got a team of local people working with him that can think and do thinks of their own without being told what to do all the time, it's quite a sight in Taiwan, but it's obviously possible to do.
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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 10 Nov 2011, 14:11

TheLostSwede: I disagree that people all over the world are basically the same. If they were, places would basically be the same, but they're not. I've been to about forty countries. I've been to Sweden and it's not like this place at all. Things get done. They get done on time. They get done to a high standard. Individuals give a shit and take personal pride in what they do.

I don't think it's enough to just blame the system. At some point, people have to use their bloody heads and start acting like responsible adults instead of perpetual eleven year olds, even if their bosses are cunts.

The other day, I was in the school gym doing a workout. There was a class there going crazy because their teacher hadn't turned up for class yet (this was ten minutes into the class). So, I took the initiative and supervised the class until she arrived. Every single day, I see certain teachers (sometimes one after another) stroll to class anywhere between five and ten minutes late. I see the most incredible laziness and incompetence around me on a daily basis, yet then the teachers complain that the kids have a bad attitude to school. My colleagues teach all of about fifteen periods per week, but they still can't get their shit together to turn up to class on time. Turning up on time, doing what you're meant to be doing, and doing it to at least the minimum level of competency shouldn't be lauded as some sort of achievement. Yet my colleagues think they work oh so hard and it's so difficult for them. They'd be shocked shitless if they ever had to go and teach in a school in Australia or the U.K. (where they'd have one free period per day if they were lucky, would spend all of their lunchtimes chasing kids, and would then somehow have to fit in lesson planning and the mountainous volume of marking and report writing expected of them in their own time), and probably most other Western countries also.

Likewise, we can find plenty of examples of shoddy construction work or general workmanship in this country. It's an open secret that the traffic police are completely piss poor at their jobs and so on. These guys are just phoning it in, so why should I have any respect for them? They're not getting a raw deal if they turn up to work and fuck around on Facebook all day. I fuck around on Forumosa all day, but I still manage to turn up to class on time and do a good job, so it doesn't matter, but these clowns can't even do that. So no, it's not harsh; it's not harsh enough.
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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby TheLostSwede » 10 Nov 2011, 19:32

Well, a lot of it really has to do with the system.
No-one's taught to take responsibility here, as their parents are always there to help out and look after them, I mean for crying out loud, 30 year olds (and even 40+ in some cases I know) are still living at home with their parents! No wonder things are the way they are. Where I come from everyone starts to think something's wrong if you haven't moved out of your parents by the time you're in your mid 20's if not earlier.
Education starts in the home, not in school as they seem to think here and imho most people here with a degree seems to have acquired no knowledge whatsoever.
I still believe most people are the same when they start out in life, as if you take a person born in this country and place them somewhere else in the world while they're growing up, they're not going to be like a person growing up here.
I think much of it comes down to a lack of pride, people here aren't proud over what they accomplish. This isn't helped by the idea that if you're not number one, you're a nobody and there's no wonder there are so many people killing themselves here.
This is way off topic now though, but I have meet people here that are very good at their jobs and people that have just ended up in the wrong position in the wrong company in the wrong industry... yet somehow no-one seems to notice...

With regards to construction and workmanship here, it kind of goes back to the whole thing about cheap is good which seems to be a mantra here. It's something I'm dealing with on a nearly daily basis as the Taiwanese have become experts on "cost down" no matter if it's needed or not. Most companies here seems to believe that if you have the cheapest product, then you have the best product, something I never understood.

Don't even get me started on the so called police here or having to deal with government agencies here, inefficiency seems to be their motto along with giving you the run around as soon as you have to provide them with anything more than the most basic of information. I can see why accounts here charge what they charge, it's not that it's rocket science to fill out a couple of forms, but getting all the papers with the right stamps are a real pain in the backside.

Anyhow, I do believe it's possible for things to change here, but it's going to take a couple of generations and some harder times, as looking at the current teenage generation (which they apparently call the tofu generation) they have never had to do anything their entire lives and as such they're not prepared to become adults. I guess having grown up on the country side makes me a bit different, but I had to help out back home since I was a kid, it was just part of life and I was never given a choice. In as much as I hated it back then, I think at least it prepared me a little bit for working life. I got myself summer jobs as a teenager to be able to buy whatever I wanted to get, as my allowance wasn't very much. And no, I'm not that old and I can't say we were poor either, but my old man was pretty strict back then.

I think a lot of people just take things for granted and there really is a viscous circle here with over protective parents that only wants you to study so you can get good grades, a school system that force feeds you information rather than educates you and a working environment where the company only wants you to do one or two very specific tasks. You mentioned you'd been to Sweden, well, us Swede's are generally encouraged to enjoy our childhood for as long as possible, we're taught things in school, at least if we're lucky enough to have good teachers of which I had a few and our employers are actively seeking to further educate us and make us a more valuable asset to their business. It's not all about money, again something Taiwan needs to learn, as many incentives businesses give in Sweden include paid holidays, parental leave, further education and development within the company. Of course, some jobs have limitations in terms of where you can go, but you're always encouraged to become better at your job, as no company in Sweden wants employees that just do their job and nothing more, as they'd see that as a waste of investment.
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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 11 Nov 2011, 09:00

TheLostSwede: I think the great hope for this country is that plenty of people will go abroad and bring ideas back. I don't see change as forthcoming from within Taiwanese culture. I know a guy who has just entered the civil service here. He's very, very smart. He went to the best school in Taizhong, and then he did his entire university education in England. He's highly critical of a lot of the bullshit that goes on here. Hopefully, there will be enough people like him to make a difference.
And you coming in to scold us all like some kind of sour-puss kindie assistant who favors olive cardigans and lemon drinks without sugar. -- Muzha Man

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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby jacksmith12888 » 28 Mar 2012, 15:10

A new report by the ITUC on core labour standards in Taiwan (known at the WTO as “Chinese Taipei”), published to coincide with the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) review of its trade policies, finds that various categories of employees are barred from forming and joining unions, and that penalties in the law are insufficient to prevent anti—union discrimination. Furthermore, strikes are impeded in the form of long and complex procedures, although reforms to the Labour Union Law currently before Parliament should address some of these issues.





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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 05 Nov 2012, 18:27

They probably deserve the bad wage anyways. Anytime some news article about wages or employment comes up the comment section is full of accusation of the Ma Administration pandering to the big business interests and not really caring about the common people. What they also said is that whenever a labor right demonstration comes up everyone will say they will come, but when it happens few shows up.

I think that's the big problem, the culture is far too passive to affect any change, so those in power will use that to keep things in order. Workers complain that their wages are too low, deductions too high (any sick days, days off, etc. are severely penalized), yet no one will even organize and bargain collectively. Not sure if its legal climate or something but if even 20% of a company's workforce decided to stop they will have to listen. Sure they can just go hire someone else but that takes time, meaning missed deadline and fines. Some say the average Taiwanese is too selfish to care about the social condition.
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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby Kaalund » 02 May 2013, 17:18

You can call the labor government, then they will come to your company and enforce the law. I have seen this happening with my own eyes. The owner of company refused to pay for over tim until 1 employee had enough and called the labor government. The next morning the labor government came to the office and ordered the owner to pay. Of course he was pissed, but he never found out who called the labor government
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Re: Taiwanese workers rights?

Postby JohnBerg » 10 Sep 2013, 05:40

This is a great post. Taiwan will never enough labor laws, and any employee who actually reports his or her boss for an infraction is nearly humiliated to death. Almost 100% of Taiwanese people commit white collar crime. Families are run as business, and for every legitimate worker within a family there are nearly 3 others working under the table and collecting benefits. My girlfriend did this for nearly 6 months. It is not much, but it is still unethical. On a familial level, the extortion is much larger, and it often spreads into other countries to maintain wealth because of separate banking systems.
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