Taipei 101 in Taipei City, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

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A closed-door meeting between Taiwanese and Indonesian labor chiefs over issues and rights concerning migrant workers in the island country is going to be held on Friday in Taipei.

Increasing the minimum wage for foreign domestic helpers and in-home caregivers is expected. Indonesian Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri arrived in Taiwan on Thursday and was to meet Taiwan Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun on Friday.

A memorandum of understanding about recruitment, placement and the protection of Indonesian migrant workers was expected to be signed, the United Daily News reported.

There was also speculation that the Indonesian government wanted Taiwan to raise the monthly minimum wage for domestic helpers and in-home caregivers to NT$19,000 (US$616) from NT$17,000 ($552) as this group of workers was excluded by Taiwan’s Labor Standards Act and earn less than factory workers or institutional caregivers.

According to statistics, Taiwan hired more than 240,000 migrants as domestic caregivers or workers, 190,000 of whom were Indonesian migrant workers, accounting for 76% of all the migrant workers in the category.

Other important labor issues including allowing Indonesian migrant workers to freely switch employers and allowing wages to be paid via banks were to be discussed.

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