Hanging between life and death – The heroes of Taiwan’s highways

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Citizen journalist Chen Po-ju has filmed construction workers on Taiwan’s highways many times. He edited over a year’s footage in the hope people begin to give these highway heroes the respect they deserve. Typhon Morokot wrought great destruction on Southern Taiwan, including severe damage to many of the country’s highways. In the three years following the disaster, the highways in the country have required urgent repairs, and this has attracted manual laborers who are eager to eke out a living. A great number of these workers are from our indigenous community, many of whom travel long distances from their homes and families – sometimes travelling all the way from the East to the West coast. These strong and dexterous workers can often be spotted hanging precariously from 90-degree precipices, with only a rope for protection. In the world of these workers, there is no such thing as ‘safety’ - only ‘luck’, which may explain the importance their families put on daily prayer for them. Most of the workers filmed are from Hualian’s Taroko Tribe, and although only barely making ends meet, are still very much content and grateful for what life has given them. Apart from answering the call of nature and mealtimes, the workers are suspended from the rock face for a full 8-hour shift – no easy feat! Through the course of filming, it became clear that with regards to ‘work safety’ the situation for this group of workers is anything but ideal. No matter whether the work comes through private contractors or the government, safety precautions appear to be never enforced or directly supervised. The citizen journalist hopes that this small portion of film depicting life for this group of workers will go some way in paying respect to our highway heroes.

PeoPo 公民新聞

Hanging between life and death – The heroes of Taiwan’s highways (by CJ CU8060)
URL: http://www.peopo.org/news/95515

 

(以下是中文對照)

生死一線間 台灣公路英雄 影音 ( 公義使者 )

公民記者陳柏濡拍攝多次公路工程影片,把蒐集了一整年的毛片重新整理,希望喚起用路人對這群公路英雄的崇敬。88水災之後,南台灣有很多的公路嚴重受損,近 三年來,為了搶修公路,有很多靠勞力賺錢的朋友投入這危險的工作,其中大部份為原住民朋友,他們甚至離鄉背景遠從東台灣到西部任職。幾近九十度的山涯,這 群身手矯健的工程人員,僅以一條繩索垂掛在搖晃的山腰間,山下沒有任何防護,「安全」這二個字對他們來說是「運氣」的加乘,而平安二字則是家屬終日的祝 禱。影片裡的主角大都是來自花蓮太魯閣族的朋友,他(她)們樂天知命,為的是糊口飯吃。除了吃飯上廁所,幾乎八小 時都掛在岩壁上,真不容易。影片也發現,這群用生命賺錢的勞工朋友,其實對自己的「工安」做得並不理想, 在這麼險峻的環境工作,無論包商也罷、公部門也罷,似乎都沒有盡到「要求、督導」的境界。公民記者僅以影片紀錄他們故事的一小章節,希望藉此表達敬意。

 

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Hanging between life and death – The heroes of Taiwan’s highways

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