Labor officials listened to the complaints lodged by the Vietnamese workers. Photo:

A group of Vietnamese migrant workers in New Taipei City who accused of their employer not paying them overtime staged a protest last Friday morning at their food factory. The rally drew help from the city government’s Labor Affairs Bureau.

On May 3, citizens reported that more than 80 Vietnamese workers from Meiti – a food company renowned for its bread and western pastries – were seen protesting at the entrance on Kangning Street of the manufacturing site, the Taiwan Times reported.

Labor department section chief Liao Wu-hui led a team to the scene, where they learned from the workers that they had been working an average of 16 to 18 hours a day. But they had not been properly compensated for working overtime.

The employer was also accused of making unreasonable deductions from their wages by finding fault with their work – cutting funds for so-called “below average” products.

After nearly eight hours of talks between the employer and employees with conciliation by the Labor Affairs Bureau, Meiti agreed to pay NT$20,000 per month for the past 24 months to each worker entitled to overtime pay. The compensation is expected to be paid on May 15.

A rough estimate suggested that the employer would have to pay a total of NT$40 million to all the workers who claim to be owed money.

The city’s Labor Affairs Department said they would continue to follow up related complaints lodged by the workers.

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