The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Taiwan:
Capitalist Work Camp

Aug 2, 2021

Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.

Taiwan is presented as a literal island of democracy threatened by Beijing. But factories there making semiconductor chips for the world market have become penal colonies for their some 400,000 workers and especially for immigrant workers from neighboring Southeast Asian countries.

Under the pretext of fighting Covid, industry giants like TSMC, ASE and SPIL, which produce most of the chips used in electronic devices, cars, and so on, require women workers to sleep in the factories after working 12-hour day or night shifts. Dormitories were thrown up. Workers are only allowed to leave industrial sites one hour a day. Outings during the one day of rest per week are no longer allowed.

Taiwanese authorities allow and even encourage island residents, who are not under lockdown, to report the presence of migrants in the street and to threaten expulsion for anyone who doesn’t comply with the rule to stay confined in the factories.

Under the pretext of public health, Taiwan became the slave island of global capitalism.