熱門: 賴清德 台鐵

異鄉求生:新加坡著手改革 外籍女傭可週休一日

立報/本報訊 2012.03.14 00:00
策劃、編譯■李威撰、謝雯伃在人權團體抗爭多年之後,新加坡日前通過法案,外籍女傭每週可休假1天,結果引發體面工作與島國高額生活花費成本的爭論。Singapore's plan to mandate one day off(1) a week for foreign maids(2) after years of outcry by human rights groups is adding fuel to a raging debate about decent jobs and the soaring cost of living on the high-cost island.新加坡資源稀少,卻成為世界級的貿易、高端製造業以及金融服務重鎮。520萬的人口中,有1/3是外籍人士,包括了高收入銀行家以及在太陽下揮汗如雨的勞工。From well-paid bankers to labourers toiling in the searing sun, foreigners make up a third of the 5.2 million people in a small city-state with few resources that has become a first-world hub for trade, high-end(3) manufacturing and financial services.其中有20萬是來自印尼、菲律賓、緬甸和其他東南亞地區的婦女。她們在新加坡擔任家務女傭、保姆和照顧老病者的看護。她們薪資極低,工時卻很長,意外、暴力或自殺事件時有所聞。At least 200,000 are women from Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar and elsewhere in the region who work as family maids, nannies and caregivers to the old and ill. Wages are low, hours are long and accidents, violence and suicides are not uncommon.▲五一國際勞動節當天,印尼家務工在香港參加抗議,要求立法保障最低薪資,圖攝於2007年5月1日。(圖文/路透)人權觀察表示,這項由執政黨人民行動黨所提出的法案對仲介規範更為嚴謹,並依法起訴更多近年來濫待幫傭的雇主。不過新法案並未有太多突破之處。Human Rights Watch said the new plan, which was proposed by the ruling People's Action Party, complemented stronger regulation of employment agencies and more prosecutions of abusive employers in recent years but did not go far enough.總部在紐約的人權觀察於日前表示:「女性工作者需要得到保障,新加坡的改革只是跨出了一小步,女性工作者的產值經常被低估,工作也過於繁重。」"Singapore's reforms are only a fraction(4) of the change needed to protect women workers, who are too often undervalued and overworked," the New-York based group said on Tuesday.人力部長陳川仁表示,香港和台灣均要求雇主提供家務女傭每週1天的休假(譯註:台灣無此規定),新加坡過去沒有這項規定,但2013年1月之後將有所改變。Unlike Hong Kong and Taiwan, which require a weekly rest day for maids, Singapore has had no such rule. That will change in January 2013, Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said.陳川仁5日在國會表示:「週休1日被國際上視為基本勞工權益。」他也指出,有「相當多」的外籍家務工沒有休息時間,在工作中受傷或自殺。"A weekly rest day is regarded internationally as a basic labour right," Tan told parliament on Monday, noting that a "significant majority" of foreign maids who are hurt on the job or commit suicide had not been given time off.雇主若真有無時無刻的需求,將准許以提供額外報酬的方式來滿足,而不是雙方協商同意後才休假。Employers who truly need full-time help will be allowed to offer extra pay instead of days off by mutual consent.在勞動力的供給問題上,有呼聲要求限制外國勞工的數量,新加坡人力部也開始幫助較小型的公司訓練並聘用本地勞工。The Manpower Ministry, juggling concerns about labour supply with demands for tighter quotas on foreign workers, is also rolling out steps to help smaller firms train and hire locals.陳川仁向國會表示,新加坡需要改變,減少對外國工作者的依賴,「承擔不起繼續拖延改變」的時間;但他也強調,工作證制度的設計是要讓具專業技術外籍人士來彌補本地的不足,而不是取代本地人。Singapore "cannot afford to keep postponing" changes needed to reduce reliance on overseas workers, Tan told parliament, while stressing the employment pass policy was designed to allow skilled foreigners to complement, not replace, locals.新加坡發展的關鍵策略之一就是吸引高端人才;但低技術性的本地勞工,是否願意從事過去多為外籍人士所做的日常性、骯髒的工作,這又是另一個問題。Attracting high-end talent is a key part of Singapore's development but whether low-skilled locals actually want the mundane, dirty jobs often done by foreigners is another matter.部分新加坡人並不歡迎提供外籍女傭每週休假1日,他們擔心雇員如果有太多空閒時間會交友不慎或懷孕。甚至有人在《海峽時報》上表示,這對工作婦女來說是「壞消息」。A day off for maids was not popular among some Singaporeans, who cited fears about employees falling in with the wrong crowd or getting pregnant if given too much free time. One told the Straits Times newspaper it was "bad news" for women who work.「如果我1個月讓她放假4天,對我來說會很麻煩,」這名婦女表示,「我週日也需要休息呀。」"If I let her go out four days a month, it'll be very hectic(5) for me," the woman said. "I need to rest on Sunday too."《海峽時報》專欄作家Ignatius Low問道,新加坡人是如何看待雇主被強制要求要更照顧聘用的外籍勞工。Ignatius Low, a columnist at the Straits Times, asked what it said about Singaporeans that employers had to be compelled to take better care of their foreign workers.「新加坡真的是一個文明的已發展社會嗎?」他日前寫道:「如果真是如此,為何有時我們當中有這麼多人拒絕不用成本vs.收益、金錢及效益這一最實際的觀點來看待議題?」"Is Singapore really a civilised and developed society?" he wrote on Tuesday. "If so, why is it that so many of us sometimes refuse to see an issue from anything but the most practical perspective of cost versus benefit, dollars and sense?"(路透Reuters)關鍵字詞1. day off (n.) 休息日2. maid (n.) 女傭3. high-end (a.) 高檔的4. fraction (n.) 些微、一點5. hectic (a.) 忙亂麻煩的【東亞地區外籍家務工輸入國的法定權益】●註1:無法律明文規定者,由勞雇雙方自行協議。●註2:參考自國際勞工組織(International Labour Organization)網站、亞太婦女、法律與發展論壇(Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development)網站與各家新聞報導。