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20 Feb 2023

Peter Bengtsen, Le Monde Diplomatique

Taiwan: Migrant workers reportedly pay up to USD6150 to secure low-wage jobs producing goods for multinationals; incl. comments from L'Oreal, Walmart & others

See all tags Allegations

"Migrant workers squeezed in Taiwan," 14 Feb 2023

For decades, it has been publicly known that migrants working in Taiwan have risked — or endured — forced labour. But public attention to specific Western companies profiting from the exploitation at certain Taiwanese suppliers is rare...

Bosch, Continental, Hella, Magna and Visteon are major suppliers to the global automotive industry and buy directly from the car electronics manufacturer Chin Poon Industrial (CPI), where workers told me of exorbitant fees, punitive fines and more. After a few months of dragging its heels, Bosch committed to addressing the problems. Continental and Hella also promised to approach their supplier. Magna, one of Canada’s biggest companies, and Visteon did not...

Throughout 2022, Vietnamese employees of the huge plastics maker Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corporation (SSFC) told me about recruitment fees up to €6350, fines, deductions, retention of ID papers, tight curfews and other forced labour risks...

Vietnamese workers shared detailed feedback to me about paying recruiters exceedingly high fees for jobs, having passports confiscated for years, unpaid overtime, fines, threats and more… HHG told me that passports had been returned to workers, denied that overtime is unpaid, said ‘fines are minimal, meant to ensure they follow company policy’ and that ‘ethical recruitment is our policy...’...

Walmart, Niagara, Bosch, Continental, Hella, DSM, Magna, Visteon and Veritiv wouldn’t disclose if they had ever audited their Taiwanese suppliers, despite having sourced from them for up to ten years. Since my mid-2022 reporting, a number of audits have been scheduled.