Good news today.
A committee of the Legislative Yuan gave initial approval to the proposed new rules to allow foreign employees to take up positions as directors or supervisors of labor unions. The rules, when ratified by the lawmakers, will also permit teachers to organize labor unions.
I remember Scott Sommers writing about unionized foreign teachers in Japan a while back. At the time, I thought it was a bit odd that I’d never heard of anything similar in Taiwan, and now I know the reason- laws. Most teachers here are are a migratory bunch and don’t stay in Taiwan that long, but I think unions still make some sense. In Japan, teachers have open work permits, i.e., once they have a work visa, they can work at any company that will hire them. Here in Taiwan, on the other hand, a foreigners’ permission to work is tied to their employers. Employers definitely have a lot of power here.