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Is my GF being exploited?

Work Permits, Employment Qualifications, Employer Problems
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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby Mother Theresa » 20 Sep 2009, 14:31

Is she being exploited?

Depends on whether she has other alternatives or not. You'd be wrong to pressure her to quit if nothing better is available for her.

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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby kjmillig » 20 Sep 2009, 14:37

Basic answer, YES, she's being exploited just like most Taiwanese workers if you judge it by standards of the USA, Canada, Australia, etc. Believe it.
AFAIK, the national average is not $40k for 40 hr/wk, as most employees put in way more hours than than on average.
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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby headhonchoII » 20 Sep 2009, 16:45

Yes she is being exploited but so are most workers in Taiwan. I call it exploitation because the revenue of mostly very profitable Taiwanese companies is not shared with staff. There is a big income gap here between owners, managers and regular staff. Basically the regular staff get paid crap to make money for the owners and managers. That's the way it is setup. The NTD is kept artificially low which boosts exports but depresses local purchasing power (the opposite of Japan). The only reason it still works for young people to take these jobs is that they stay at home until they are married depending on the parents. To get the job in the first place it may be neccessary to have the foreign masters but it only boosts pay by 2000-3000 NTD/mth in most cases, an ugly fact. It is extremely competitive in Taiwan for almost any job as most companies have not invested in the domestic market in at least a decade, moving many positions and most new positions to China. It is important in any job to get a few years of experience and contacts, you can ask for more money then but even twice 32000 after 10-20 years is not a lot of money.

There are very significant opportunities for marketing people in China...but if she stays in Taiwan and works in certain professions she will have to suck it up, or else eventually go out on her own. The fact is certain areas in China will surpass Taiwanese salaries soon due to their larger market size and growth rate.
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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby On The Brink » 20 Sep 2009, 23:15

Sounds like typical Taiwanese/Chinese run business to me. I would recommend she look a "real" international company and hopefully a foreign boss. My office we've had zero turnover in 2.5 years open and applicants lining up at the door. Our direct competitor has a Taiwanese boss and averages over 100% turnover each year. Treat people well, pay them a good wage, and the dividends will be ten fold. This philosophy does not compute here. I hope our competitor's GM never leaves :)
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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby Chewycorns » 20 Sep 2009, 23:56

I get thoroughly amused when foreigners here complain about working conditions for the Taiwanese and migrant workers (Canadians, Saffies, Vietnamese, Thai etc). As long as they aren't being physically abused, as long as they have a roof over their head, and as long as they are receiving the money they negotiated they would receive, they should count their lucky stars. :lol:

Many of them are making more money here than they would in their home countries. Fact. :bow:

If Taiwan had the high salary structure, the high taxation (welfare state), and the red tape (over regulation) that critics on this site desire, it would be completely uncompetitive on a world scale. Then your girlfriend would live in an impoverished country and be paid even less. You would have to leave for greener pastures.

You should be praising Taiwan's economic model and telling your GF to look for another job.
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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby jhoge » 21 Sep 2009, 04:37

Thanks for the input, guys. I guess I have to reevaluate the way I look at these things. It's just bizarre to me because, when we lived in the US, she was actually making a better living...living costs were roughly 3x that of Taiwan, but her pay was around 4x, plus free lunch and a shorter workweek. Not to mention there were lovely parks and absolutely no such thing as a scooter! :discodance:

Chewycorns, I agree with you about foreign workers -- I am one myself and though my work doesn't actually depend on Taiwan or its people, I do personally benefit from the low cost of living here. So, I'm certainly not arguing the structure, I'm just trying to learn whether there are indeed other options beyond the 70 hour workweek, etc.

Out of curiosity, what would happen if an employee decided to work a 40 hour week no matter what? Would they actually be scolded/fired, or is it just office pressure that makes them stay?
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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby MaXiu » 21 Sep 2009, 15:48

Even if they were not fired, some end-of-year bonuses are structured so that you get next to nothing if you don't work overtime. Most companies have really opaque rules on performance bonuses, using them as a tool to control workers.
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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby CraigTPE » 21 Sep 2009, 17:30

vodche wrote:I don't understand how one can live with such low salary. I mean, after all expenses (food, personal stuff, and entertainment) there's no money left for savings. Is she getting perks and/or bonuses every now and then (because I heard that's how it's done in Taiwan)? In the US, one can earn relatively low salary (with no bonus/perks), enjoy life with splurges and shit, and still have some savings left (except for those with expensive mortgages). The work hours aren't as bad either. :loco:

They live with their parents into their 30's and beyond. The culture leaning toward being frugal and saving, some (many?) families have accumulated a pile of money, passed down over the generations. Most (all?) of my friends, once they moved out from their parents', got homes bought for them by their parents. Not having to spend 15% - 20% of their income on health care probably also helps.
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Re: Is my GF being exploited?

Postby Elegua » 22 Sep 2009, 09:50

Hell, I'm exploited. I feel like that every Monday...even though today is Tuesday I still feel exploited.
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