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Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby res » 10 Dec 2014, 21:42

Maybe it's not the perceived norm, but it still seems to fit under the heading of the thread and I thought it was worth putting it out there that not all the maids in Taiwan are getting completely fucked over by there employers.
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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby Markova » 10 Dec 2014, 21:50

Those foreign workers are also free to leave.
I think it's a win-win situation for both parties.

One is making more money than back home and the other is getting a cheap service making life easier.
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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby afterspivak » 10 Dec 2014, 22:17

Those foreign workers are also free to leave.
I think it's a win-win situation for both parties.


There are often huge front-end fees involved here. These fees (and subsequent indebtedness) provide powerful disincentives to quit.

Also the workers' lack of mobility within the host country's labour market (what sociologists call labour market segmentation) creates further opportunities for exploitation.

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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby Markova » 10 Dec 2014, 23:07

afterspivak wrote:
Those foreign workers are also free to leave.
I think it's a win-win situation for both parties.


There are often huge front-end fees involved here. These fees (and subsequent indebtedness) provide powerful disincentives to quit.

Also the workers' lack of mobility within the host country's labour market (what sociologists call labour market segmentation) creates further opportunities for exploitation.

Guy



You are right, but living in the digital era, those workers might be aware of the poor treatment they might receive in tw.
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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby Dr Jellyfish » 11 Dec 2014, 00:56

I have some idea of how and why many Taiwanese hire maids or helpers from Southeast Asia. Some of the points people have made have provided more food for thought.

I know Finley has mentioned something similar, but does anyone else feel uncomfortable when they see this? Whenever I see this kind of dynamic, it just makes me feel really ashamed and uncomfortable. I find it hard to look at either party, almost as if it were some kind of strange performance art. I don't have any personal experiences of being in such a relationship, so I don't even have anything to compare it with. It just looks wrong to me. Apart from seeing what other people thought of the topic, I was also trying to find out if my feelings toward this were common, or if I was experiencing some misplaced sense of righteousness.
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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby fh2000 » 11 Dec 2014, 05:03

Many of you have no first hand experience of this, so you look into this from your idea/ideal and comparing it back home. I have lived in US for 30 years so I know where you are coming from.

Those helpers are not maids. They are supposed to be helpers taking care of the old, paralyzed folks, and they do some light house cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, changing diapers, and taking the sick to the local parks each day.

My 87 year old mom uses one, Anna, from Indonesia. Mom is half-paralyzed so we need full-time helper for her. Anna and mom sleep in the same room; Anna cooks for my mom. She cooks for herself too since she can not eat mom's food with pork. She takes mom to rehab facility every morning; then they go home for lunch and nap; then Anna takes my mom to the park to meet other 5-6 old/sick folks, each with their own helper. Helpers get together and chat or get on cell phones. When it is time for dinner. Everyone goes home; cook ; eat; watch TV; then sleep. They do this every day.

Over time, Mom and Anna built up some kind of relationship.

Anna saves most of her money and send home. She could not find work from home; her husband could not find work and therefore has no job; she has 4 kids that she has not seen for 3-4 years since arriving Taiwan. Hers is the only source of income for her family.

So, this is a solution for 2 families; one in Indonesia and one in Taiwan.
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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby headhonchoII » 11 Dec 2014, 08:10

Thanks for the condescension, I have known maids who ran away, you want my anecdotes too? Does your mothers helper get any time off for herself? Does she have her own personal space to sleep or is she stuck 24/7 with your mother? Did you think about paying for a ticket for her to fly back to Indonesia to see her kids during these 3/4 years?

The Indonesian govt is talking about stopping maids coming to Taiwan, that would be a big shock here.
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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby Markova » 11 Dec 2014, 08:29

Lol, love the little story of Anna and mom!

Anna sleeps in mom's room... So basically she works 24/7! Way to go!!!

It's nice to see that after living with your mom for several years you know that Anna has 4 kids back but it wouldn't cross your mind to give her several weeks off each year!

Oh but at least you let Anna cook her own food, sweet you :)

Seriously it sounds like paid slavery...

I actually understand Anna for coming here to make money and I also understand taiwanese for profiting on their poverty but please don't try to sell us some silly story...
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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby Markova » 11 Dec 2014, 08:32

Ah yes, it's called Modern Slavery.
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Re: Southeast Asian Maids & Helpers in Taiwan

Postby fh2000 » 13 Dec 2014, 02:19

headhonchoII wrote:Thanks for the condescension, I have known maids who ran away, you want my anecdotes too? Does your mothers helper get any time off for herself? Does she have her own personal space to sleep or is she stuck 24/7 with your mother? Did you think about paying for a ticket for her to fly back to Indonesia to see her kids during these 3/4 years?

The Indonesian govt is talking about stopping maids coming to Taiwan, that would be a big shock here.


Like I said, I do not expect you would understand the arrangement. I am just reporting it as I see it. I am still in US and I see similar live-in nannies in some of my friends and colleagues here.

The by-laws between 2 governments (Indo and Taiwan) provide one day off each week. The helpers also provide one medical check-up a year by the family. There are other regulations that the family should adhere to. Are there exploitation by some families in Taiwan or US? I am sure. Janet Reno was one example. One Taiwanese diplomat in Kansas was another example.

But, are all these examples slavery?
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