A Sad Living of Modern Slaves
We Are Here Appealing to You, But You Are Having Day Off
A Public Letter to the Ministry of Labor Taiwan from Domestic Caretakers Union
To the Ministry of Labor, Taiwan (MOL)
We are domestic caretakers, we organized an union which registers to Taoyuan city government, our nationalities are Philippine, Indonesian, and Vietnam.
June 10 is the Sunday before National Domestic Workers Day, we turned our petition letter to your good offices, informing our appeals and expect a face to face meeting with your good offices and we want to talk about how to improve and implement the right of migrant caretakers. All the caretakers in Taiwan are expecting this day, until 2 days ago, your good offices told us through SPA that because June 10 is Sunday, it’s not working hour, so it’s impossible to have a meeting with us, there even may not be anyone receiving our petition in public. Because Sunday is a legal rest day!
We feel very confused, officers of MOL can reject to work on Sunday, but as caretakers, we don’t have right to say no to the overtime on Sunday, and therefore are forced to work 24 hours 365 days in employers’ places! Toward this issue, the attitude of MOL is ignoring and cold. Do you forget that we are human but we are not slaves! Your good offices decline our invitation to have meeting on Sunday is no difference with telling us there’s no possible meeting even in the future, because it’s even harder for our employers to allow us go out in week days. Impossible!
“Sunday is rest day” is a common sense of your good offices, but as domestic caretakers in Taiwan, we badly need the support from MOL to implement the right of day offs. Many of us live a life without day offs, some of our fellow workers get mental disorders, some choose to runaway for a breath of freedom, some people endure more than 1 year no day off, just ask for a day off, our brokers give us warnings, blames immediately, and some are fired for the reason “want to day off”!! Our voice should be heard, our pain should be felt. Can you understand, your good offices?
Sunday is very precious to us-most of us have day off only once a month, even no fixed day offs. Many of us doesn’t work in Taipei, we are taking care of the elderly or patients, scattering all over Taiwan. Some of us even come from Tainan, Kaosiung, Pintung, even Hualien. For this day, we need to get out very early in very early morning, treval 4 or 5 hour to Taipei, and what we expect is just a short meeting, which may cost you good offices just 1 or 2 hours. Is it very difficult for you?
We don’t want to address this issue in the street, we appeal to the kind heard of Taiwan government, pleading to your good offices to give us time, expecting a face to face between Taiwan government and migrant workers in a very peaceful and orderly
Respectfully, wish to get your reply as soon as possible,
Domestic Caretakers Union, Taoyuan