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DOL: Migrant Worker-Employer Mediation Rounds Achieve 70% Success Rate

DOL Commissioner with members of the mediation teamIn many cases involving migrant worker-employer conflicts, the anxiety felt by both sides often results in the accumulation negative sentiments and emotional responses, thereby reducing the chances for reconciliation and creating irreversible damages for both parties.
To tackle such conflicts, Labor Commissioner Chen Hsin-yu pointed out that the Foreign and Disabled Labor Office (FDLO) is the first in the nation to introduce the Migrant Worker Workplace Conflict Conciliator System as a possible solution. The role of professional conciliators is handled by a team of 9 lawyers, who have taken part in 462 mediation sessions over the past 3 years, achieving conflict resolution for over 75-percent of the cases.
According to the commissioner, there are currently 46,000 migrant workers in Taipei. In the past, approaches to migrant worker-employer conflict mediation often involve either administrative personnel of the respective municipal governments or interpreters. However, such mediation efforts are often tense and chaotic, since participants have to wage through obstacles such as legal questions regarding migrant worker management, interpretation between languages, differences of opinions, and emotionally upset parties.
FDLO, with assistance from Taipei Bar Association, organized a task force comprising 9 young lawyers whose expertise greatly boosted the efficiency of mediation sessions. The number of cases of migrant worker-employer conflict saw a drastic increase of 229-percent over 2 years: from 64 cases in 2018 to 211 cases in 2020. 
The majority of the conflicts involve employers accusing workers for damaging household items or providing subpar care; meanwhile, migrant workers claim that they’re badly treated by their employers or did not receive their promised wage. However, many of the cases result in deadlock due to issues such as a lack of or insufficient evidence.
With the involvement of lawyers, the commissioner noted that these experts are capable of analyzing the situation from the perspectives of civic and criminal codes and providing their professional opinions to both parties. They also offer suggestions on possible resolutions, thereby boosting the success of mediation efforts.