Maria’s Worries: The Endless War between Workers and Employers
Since the enforcement of Employment Services Act in 1992, the introduction of foreign laborers (including in-home caregivers and housekeepers) has been going on for 18 years. However, they have not been given legal holidays due to the special requirements of their work. Unlike other types of foreign laborers, foreign domestic workers are not covered by the Labor Standards Act. 
Due to their employers’ needs, foreign domestic workers may have to work round the clock. Unfortunately, they cannot rely on a rotation shift workers to back them up like the staff of a convenient store. According to the Council of Labor Affairs’ statistics, the average domestic worker works 14 hours per day, a very shocking figure.
Extremely intense work not only results in unbearable pressure to foreign domestic works, but also creates serious problems. The incident of famous writer Liu Xia (also known as Xinlingzi) is one of such cases.
Suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Liu Xia had difficulties walking and needed long-term care. An Indonesian in-home caregiver named Vina was in charge of her daily life. However, lack of adequate rest over a long period of time caused Vina to have a nervous breakdown. In the early morning of February 7, 2003, Vina fiercely pulled and dragged Liu Xia, who suffered severe injuries. Although she was sent to the hospital immediately, she failed to survive. The accident put the importance of legal holidays for foreign domestic workers under the spotlight. However, amending existing laws or formulating the “Domestic Service Act” to regulate foreign domestic workers’ statutory holidays has remained unresolved to this day because of changes to the ruling party and numerous appointments to the committee of the Council of Labor Affairs.  
It is quite common to see employers ask their foreign domestic workers to do housework beyond their duties or even work at their factories. The foreign domestic usually have to accept because they cannot refuse such requests. 
Employers of foreign domestic workers must pay an “Employment Security Fund” to the government. As of the end of January 2010, the total amount had exceeded NT$12 billion. The money, however, is mainly used for catching escaping foreign domestic workers1, preventing dengue fever, etc., which are usually unrelated to the employment of the foreign domestic workers. If the money can be used for expanding the respite care service2, hiring Taiwanese caregivers to substitute for foreign domestic workers when they are away for vacation, it will not only increase job opportunities for unemployed Taiwanese people and prevent extra costs for the cared who are usually in the economic minority, but it will also ensure the front-line care givers benefit from the legal holidays they deserve.  
Many of the abovementioned situations have been depicted in news reports and video clips on the Digital Archives Portal Site. Perhaps some of the foreign domestic workers’ lives are exactly the same as the actors in the Creative Comic Collection improvisation Maria – worse than scum and still undeserving of human rights. It is hoped that the endless war between employers and foreign domestic workers will come to a halt when the laws are amended and enforced strictly. 
The police investigate the disputes between the Thailand workers and the administrators at the No.6 Naphtha Cracker Industrial Park in Miliao, Yulin.
Source: VCenter 
A prison for foreign workers created by heartless employers. The wall is covered by words written in foreign languages. The prison seems to have imprisoned more than one group of foreign workers.
Source: VCenter
In tears, Indonesian sisters accuse their employer of sexual harassment 
(Source: VCenter)
1. Foreign workers are not allowed to change their employers freely. Therefore, when they meet inappropriate employers, they have to escape illegally.
2. Respite care service (Long-term short-stay service) is designed for long-term care in order to substitute for the caregivers when they are on vacation. Institutions provide 24/7 short-term daily care, allowing the domestic workers to have some rests and reduce their burden. The service will help the caregivers and the family 
Taiwan International Workers' Assoc
The Council of Labor Affairs, Executive Yuan
Pei-chia, Lan (2008), Global Cinderellas: Migrant Domestics and Newly Rich Employers in Taiwan, Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing