Yilan County government complex in Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps
Yilan County government complex in Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

An Indonesian migrant who worked on a Taiwanese fishing boat claimed he was beaten, refused meals and not paid a salary for three months when he appeared at a press conference with officials, the Taipei Times reported on June 2.

“I came to Taiwan to work so I can send money back home. I never expected things to be the way they are now,” the sailor, who identified himself as Safrudin, said through an interpreter at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

The Indonesian restaurant where the fishermen were given meals refused to serve the men because their boss owed money to the eatery, prompting Safrudin to seek help from the Labor Affairs Department of Yilan County.

On May 10 the year, an employer-employee conciliation meeting was held and Safrudin was beaten up by the employer, who also tried to take away his phone which filmed the violence, said the secretary-general of the Yilan Migrant Fishermen Union.

Legislator Chen Man-Li from the Democratic Progressive Party argued that Safrudin’s employment agency should have been punished because it refused to help workers whose rights were infringed.

He added that the government should also provide workers with native language services through interpreters so victims could file their cases more easily.