TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Ministry of Labor (MOL, 勞動部) announced on Jan. 8 that migrant workers who receive illegally imported meat products and do not notify authorities may risk being deported and fined up to NT$150,000.
On the other hand, if the migrant workers had a hand in illegally importing the meat products into Taiwan, they may be sentenced up to 7 years in prison and be fined up to NT$300 million.
This is in a bid to combat African swine fever which has spread into many meat products around the world. As Chinese New Year is approaching, the MOL acknowledged that families back home may wish to send some food to migrant workers in Taiwan to tide them over the holiday season.
However, the MOL emphasized that at present time, importing unknown meat products into the country could result in them violating the current regulations in place, meaning migrant workers may risk being deported if they are found in possession of said meat products.
According to the Employment Service Act (就業服務法) Article 73 paragraph 6, their employment contract could be terminated and they could be ordered to head back home if they are in violation of Taiwan’s laws.
The MOL also reminded the public not to purchase meat from unknown places of origin online and asked migrant workers to remind relatives and family members back home not to send any meat products over this year.
In addition, should migrant workers receive meat products, they should also toss them in the trash and not sort them as cooked kitchen waste as it could still spread, the MOL added.
Employers will also have to take certain responsibilities should migrant workers under their employment be found in possession of illegal meats or have consumed illegal meats.
The meals provided by employers to migrant workers should be safe and hygienic, and meat products from unknown sources should not be provided, the MOL said, adding that employers should inform migrant workers of the laws and regulations on swine fever prevention and confirm that kitchen waste in migrant workers’ dormitories will not mix with those that would be sent to pig farms.
Besides this, labor broker agencies should also announce such regulations regarding illegal meats to employers and migrant workers as soon as possible. The employees of the labor broker agencies should be prohibited from selling meat products from unknown sources to migrant workers, and whether labor broker agencies have done their part in informing migrant workers of such regulations will be included in the evaluation for the 2021 year.
If migrant workers have any questions or problems in relation to the African swine fever, they can all the 1955 hotline or join the 1955 E-Line account for more information.