TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Food delivery drivers in Taiwan make an average of NT$42,000 a month, well above the monthly average salary, according to a study by job search website 104 Job Bank.
At a press conference on Wednesday (Oct. 16), Deputy General Manager Chung Wen-hsiung (鍾文雄) told reporters that the results were based analysis of 300 drivers registered on the site over the past five years, with 70 percent of drivers found to be working as full-time employees for food delivery companies. The highest reported salary drivers was NT$180,000, while the lowest was NT$20,000.
The average age of the drivers is 26, with the oldest being 45 and the youngest 15. Nearly 45 percent of the delivery staff have a university degree and three percent have a master's degree.
In terms of income, the average driver earns NT$42,000 per month, NT$12,000 more than the average monthly salary in Taiwan of NT$30,000. With such a high percentage of drivers having a college degree, the average age, and the substantially higher average pay, the job appears to be attracting many recent graduates.
A driver at the press conference surnamed Hung (洪) said he makes NT$10,000 per month working four to five hours a day, reported UDN. Another driver surnamed Chiu (邱), who he holds a position in a foreign-funded company, said that he makes deliveries on the side during his off-hours and on holidays, and makes about NT$10,000 to NT$15,000 per month.
Chung told reporters most of the drivers are considered part-time workers, but 104 Job Bank found that 70 percent of its registered users consider themselves full-time employees. Chung said that those who are working full-time for such companies should receive the complete protection of labor law.
Chung advised those working full-time for food delivery companies to protect themselves through commercial insurance, including vehicle insurance, medical insurance, and accident insurance. Chung added that given the average age is 26, many may not be able to afford commercial insurance, in which case he recommends they join a professional trade union to gain access to labor insurance.
The profession has come into the spotlight lately as three deaths occurred involving three different food delivery services in traffic accidents within the stretch of five days. A Foodpanda deliveryman was struck head-on by a truck on Oct. 10, an UberEATS driver was rammed from behind by a car on Oct. 13, and a Lalamove driver fatally struck a 74-year-old man who was jaywalking on Oct. 14.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News)— The Embassy of Saint Lucia in Taiwan has launched a series of cultural events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its independence.
Saint Lucia, which has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, declared independence from the U.K 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, the embassy presented a concert on Tuesday (Oct. 15) at the Taipei campus of Shih Chien University (台北實踐大學).
The Ambassador of Saint Lucia, Edwin Laurent, attended and said it was the first time such an event had been arranged by the embassy. Laurent added that he hoped this was the first of many more similar collaborations.
The Embassy of Saint Lucia collaborated with Taiwan artists to put on the concert. The opening show was performed by Taiwan dance group, B. Dance (丞舞製作團隊), followed by the Saint Lucian jazz singer, Boo Hinkson, and the group, Tribe of Twel.
Tribe of Twel recently performed at Taiwan’s Double Ten Day parade and reenacted this performance. The show demonstrated how they build their homes in Saint Lucia and was greatly appreciated by the students.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Political leaders from around Europe gathered in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday (Oct. 16) for the official launch of the Formosa Club, which will allow pro-Taiwan European countries to connect more easily.
China has been ramping up pressure on Taiwan, seeking to isolate the island on the world stage. Consequently, the European Parliament and the parliaments of three European nations — Germany, France, and the U.K. — agreed to form a platform to support Taiwan and its democracy.
Attending the ceremony were European Parliament member (EPM) Michael Gahler, Bundestag member Klaus-Peter Willsch, French National Assembly member Jean-Francois Cesarini, and U.K. Parliament member Lord Steel of Aikwood. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) was also there to represent Taiwan.
During his speech, Gahler noted that Taiwan and Europe share the same values of democracy, freedom, and rule of law. He announced that the Formosa Club will say "No" to China's continued bullying of Taiwan.
Hsieh told the press that Taiwan's friendships with European countries are extremely vital and can help preserve Taiwanese democracy. He also expressed how excited Taiwan was about the founding of the organization.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Police in Indonesia are looking for six Taiwanese suspects who recruited 40 Indonesians ostensibly to study at Chienkuo Technology University (CKTU, 建國科技大學) in Changhua City, but in reality they were forced to work illegally, reports said Tuesday (October 15).
Two Indonesians who worked with the six Taiwanese to interview prospective students in Jakarta were arrested, according to the Central News Agency.
Once the students arrived in Taiwan, they were forced to work from Monday to Saturday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., with language classes only on Sundays. During the 18 months they spent on the island, some students only received NT$4,300 (US$140) a month, police said.
A manpower company reportedly distributed the students over several factories involved in chemicals, metals or cars, according to the report. As they were studying in a small room on the CKTU campus on Sundays, there never was any interaction with the college’s Taiwanese students.
The go-betweens paid the two Indonesian suspects about NT$120,000 per student, while half the students’ monthly NT$26,000 wage was pocketed by the middlemen, the report said.
The university in Changhua said it had set up a taskforce to investigate the case, while the Indonesian police asked for cooperation from its Taiwanese counterpart to find the six Taiwanese suspects.
Over the past year, students from several Southeast Asian and South Asian countries have been found to have been forced into illegal work instead of study.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – For three years, the name of a Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit station was listed as “Oil Refinery Elementary Achool Station” on a sign outside the building, reports said Tuesday (October 15).
As a stopgap measure, a sticker with the letter S has now been superimposed on the offending vowel until a more permanent correction is applied.
When the light box was renewed in 2015, apparently nobody noticed the typo. It was only recently that a member of the public spotted the oddity and posted it online.
A quick tour of inspection revealed that no other signs contained any English spelling errors, the MRT company said, adding that a new version with the correct spelling of “School” had been ordered and would soon be installed.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Six urban post offices across Taiwan are shifting their opening hours to noon and closing at 7:30 p.m. starting in November.
Reporters announced on Tuesday (Oct. 15) that in order to meet the needs of busy office workers in metropolitan areas of Taiwan, it will adjust business hours at six post offices in six major cities to 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. beginning in November. The new hours will be implemented in two phases consisting of three stores each over the course of two weeks.
The following is the rollout of the new office hours:
1. Nov. 1: Taipei Guanghua Post Office, Taichung Yong'an Post Office, Kaohsiung San Tin Post Office
2. Nov. 15: Yonghe (New Taipei) Zhongshan Road Post Office, Taoyuan Minsheng Road Post Office, Tainan Xinghua Street Post Office
Reporters reassured the public that people's rights and interests will not be affected after the operating hours of the six above-mentioned post offices are adjusted. Registered mail applications will be provided to the public to change their workplace or new address free of charge.
For those requiring postal or financial services before noon, reporters recommended visiting nearby branches that maintain the standard morning operating hours. Alternatively, they customers use the ipost website, the epost app, or the WebATM online services.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After the discovery of the biggest drug cache inside a container in Taiwanese history, a police officer has confessed that he took NT$10 million (US$326,000) in bribes to cover it up.
Earlier this year, Kaohsiung's Ciaotou District Prosecutor's Office directed the seizure of 1.5 metric tons of illegal drugs stashed inside a container, which, in turn, led to the arrest of a police officer surnamed Wu (吳), who had taken bribes to look the other way. Prosecutors found that Wu, an officer with the Special Police Third Headquarters, imported containers under the name of a company with a good track record in exchange for NT$10 million.
On Jan. 28 of this year, officers opened up a container in Kaohsiung Harbor and found 1.5 tons of illegal drugs inside, a record haul from a container in Taiwan. The authorities traced the shipment to a 48-year-old customs broker surnamed Shen (沈), who informed them that a police officer surnamed Wu had been helping to cover up the shipments, according to the report.
When police took Wu in for questioning, he confessed that he had helped smuggle illegal drugs on two occasions. Prosecutors said that a 45-year-old man surnamed Lin (林), a man surnamed Chen (陳), and Wu were part of a drug-smuggling ring.
According to the report, Lin first approached Wu, saying he wanted to smuggle one metric ton of drug-making ingredients into Taiwan. He promised Wu NT$10 million in exchange for helping conceal the operation.
Wu then suggested that that the containers be brought in under the name of a major company in order to avoid arousing the suspicions of customs officers. The trio ordered their first shipment posing as "East X Company."
To avoid detection, Wu forged false records in advance. However, there was a contact error, which led to the return of the container ship to Vietnam.
In January of this year, the men used the same method to import two containers under the name of "New X Company." They declared that the cargo inside was "plywood."
This time, the task force was already on their trail, and on Jan. 28, they raided the warehouse where the containers had been stored. Inside one of the containers, officers found 500 bags of amphetamines weighing about one kilogram (kg) each, and they also found 1,000 packages of Ketamine weighing 1 kg each, or a total of 1.5 metric tons.
However, before the raid took place, Wu had informed Shen that an inspection was coming, and Lin and Chen did not show up to take delivery of the container as originally planned. After police began their investigation into Wu, they eventually managed to track down the ringleaders and arrested Wu, Chen, and Lin in March of this year.
Prosecutors said that the 1.5 tons of drugs seized from Vietnam was the largest amount found in a container in Taiwan's history. As Wu had brazenly neglected his own duty to protect his country from contraband, and since neither Shen nor Lin showed any signs of remorse, prosecutors have asked the court to impose the heaviest punishment possible.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After two food delivery drivers were killed over Taiwan's National Day weekend, a Lalamove (啦啦快送) driver fatally hit a 74-year-old man who was jaywalking on Minsheng W. Road Monday evening (Oct. 14).
A 30-year-old Lalamove delivery driver surnamed Chou (周) was on his way to pick up his next order when he accidentally collided with a 74-year-old man surnamed Lo (羅). According to police, Lo was immediately sent to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.
This is the third food-delivery-related incident to result in a death in Taiwan in the last 5 days, with the previous two involving drivers from Foodpanda and Uber Eats. The police confirmed that Chou was not under the influence of alcohol and said he felt remorse for what had happened.
The Ministry of Labor has threatened to fine food delivery companies for lacking a formal labor-management framework and said that deliverers should be regarded as employees as opposed to contractors, which is how many companies define them. Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) on Monday stated that, regardless, delivery companies should be held responsible for any accidents caused by their drivers.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese state-run news channel reported on Sunday (Oct. 13) that Beijing has completed “initial plans” for bridges linking the country to Taiwan’s outlying islands Matsu and Kinmen.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Monday that the plans were made unilaterally by China as part of its schemes to absorb Taiwan and divide Taiwanese society, reported Liberty Times. Beijing has long disregarded the existence of Taiwan and shown a lack of respect for its democratic values and system, the MAC said.
According to Communist China’s mouthpiece CCTV, a total of 40 experts from both sides of the Taiwan Strait gathered in Fujian’s provincial capital, Fuzhou, on Sunday to discuss plans for the bridges connecting Fuzhou to Matsu and Xiamen to Kinmen. The designer of the 55-kilometer Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge that opened last year, Meng Fanchao (孟凡超), has expressed confidence that any technical difficulties can be overcome.
The report suggested that the “initial plans” for the bridges had been drawn up, including a four- to eight-lane bridge linking Xiamen to Kinmen through the newly built Xiang'an International Airport. Currently, Chinese wishing to travel to Matsu or Kinmen must either fly or take a ferry under the “mini three links” agreement between Taiwan and China that went into effect in 2001.
The Taiwanese government sees no need for bridges linking either Matsu or Kinmen to China, according to the MAC. The matter concerns the future development of cross-strait relations and should hence be determined by Taiwan’s central government after a thorough assessment.
The MAC said Taiwan supports exchanges between its outlying islands and China in trade and other areas that boost local economies. It added that these exchanges, however, should neither compromise Taiwan’s sovereignty nor violate the country’s regulations.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A vendor has been charged with violating the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), and the stall where he worked has been shut down after he allegedly brandished a knife at an Australian family after a dispute over a fishing game broke out.
At 7 p.m. on Oct. 5, an Australian couple and their two children began playing a "scooping fish" game with nets, for which they paid NT$200 (US$6.50). After their children successfully caught some fish, they believed that they would be able to exchange them for some stuffed animals.
To the family's surprise, the stall employee surnamed Cheng (鄭) claimed that their catch was not enough for a prize. In addition, the parents complained that the flimsy nets frequently broke apart as the children played.
An argument soon ensued, and the Australian father made an obscene gesture with his middle finger at the vendor to express his displeasure. In response, Cheng pulled out a 30-centimeter-long knife in a threatening fashion and did not back down until he heard that someone had called the police.
In a video of the incident, Cheng can be seen pulling out the large knife and thrusting it directly at the family as he yells at them. He then seems to have second thoughts and sheaths it, placing it in a box.
According to local media reports, another one of the tourists' grievances was that they had believed they were to receive six fishing nets for a total cost of NT$100. However, Cheng raised the price to NT$100 per net.
Police said that when they arrived on the scene, the tourists did not mention the price hike but did complain about the flimsy condition of the nets, the lack of prizes after catching fish, and being ignored when they asked Cheng for advice on fishing techniques. The tourists said that at the end of the game, they felt that they had been ripped off.
Cheng admitted to pulling out a knife but claimed he did so out of self-defense because the Australian man was much taller than him. Although the family was reluctant to press charges, after reviewing video footage of the incident, prosecutors decided to go ahead and press charges against Cheng for violating the Social Order Maintenance Act.
Shilin Night Market Association Chairman Lin Tien-lai (林天來) said that the base price should be NT$100 for six nets. Lin judged that the dispute was a result of a language barrier and short tempers on both sides.
Lin said that Cheng had gone too far when he started waving the knife. Ho Hsiang-ching (何相慶), head of the Public Retail Market section of the night market, said that according to their contracts, vendors should not act in a way that affects public safety or order.
If a violation occurs, vendors are first issued a warning. If there is further impact on safety and order, their booths will be shut down, said Ho. This latest incident is yet another blot on the night market after a South Korean tourist was grossly overcharged for a bag a fruit there in January of this year.