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Keelung migrant fishermen form union, second of its kind in Taiwan February 22,2021   |  Source: The News Lens

The Keelung Migrant Fishermen’s Union is the second migrant fishermen’s union to gain legal status in Taiwan, after cases of abuse against Southeast Asian migrant fishermen came to public attention.

A group of about thirty people packed inside an Indonesian restaurant in downtown Keelung on an unseasonably warm and sun-soaked Sunday morning before the Lunar New Year holiday. The group, consisting of Indonesian migrant workers, Taiwanese activists, local government officials, and cultural and education workers, gathered to inaugurate the Keelung Migrant Fishermen’s Union (KMFU).

Headquartered at Secretary General Mei-hua Lee’s restaurant, the KMFU is the second migrant fishermen’s union to gain legal status in Taiwan after the Yilan Migrant Fishermen’s Union (YMFU) in 2013.

The formation of the KMFU is the most recent milestone in an ongoing struggle with exploitative working conditions in Taiwan’s US$2 billion fishing industry. The issue has been well documented by mainstream media, but the government has yet to take aggressive action to protect migrant fishermen.

But the Taiwanese government hastily responded when the European Union slapped a yellow card for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in 2015. The threat of sanctions in one of

 

© 2021 TNL Media Group

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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