BIZCHINA / Top Biz News

Export of fishery workers to Taiwan resumed
By Li Dapeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-19 09:03

The Chinese mainland has formally resumed the export of fishery labour services to Taiwan after a four-year-long suspension, a Ministry of Commerce official announced yesterday.

The first batch of mainland fishermen will set out today to Taiwan from Pingtan Island of East China's Fujian Province.

It follows meetings between the two sides to agree on requirements and details of the fishery labour co-operation agreement, such as salaries, said Wu Xilin, director of the External Economic Co-operation Department under the Ministry of Commerce at a press conference in Fuzhou, capital city of Fujian.

"This is an important component of the cross-Straits trade co-operation," Wu said.
"However, the legitimate interests of mainland fishermen could not be effectively protected during the past four years.

"Conflicts frequently occurred due to the absence of a functional cross-Straits fishermen co-operation mechanism."

During the suspension, many Taiwan organizations contacted mainland counterparts, hoping that the mainland would resume co-operation, said Diao Chunhe, director of the Fishery Labour Co-operation Co-ordination Committee for the Two Sides of the Straits.

The mainland has been actively creating opportunities for restoring the export of fishermen to Taiwan and pushed forward negotiations between the non-governmental fishery associations across the Straits, said Diao.

So far, the mainland has signed co-operation agreements with three Taiwan fishery organizations.

"One of the key contents of the agreement is how to protect the legitimate rights of mainland fishery workers," said Diao.

He told reporters that the agreement stipulates the minimum monthly salary standard for the fishermen, which will be at least US$280 for new fishermen and US$320 for experienced ones.

Taiwan fishery managers are also required to buy life and medical insurance for each mainland fisherman. The employers and workers must also sign a uniform labour contract.

According to the agreement, a series of systems should be established to handle possible emergencies and complaints from fishermen.

Officials revealed that the mainland is expected to provide more professional training programmes to fishing workers in the near future.

"We do hope the Taiwan authorities give a positive response and support to the resumption of the fishery labour co-operation to make it run smoothly," said Diao.

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