Labor ministry, unions, business leaders to discuss wage hike

Taipei, A committee convened by the Ministry of Labor (MOL) will meet Aug. 16, with government and labor representatives and business leaders trying to reach an agreement on wage increases.

In May, the Cabinet put forward a series of proposals to improve the conditions for low-paid workers in Taiwan, including a suggestion to raise the statutory hourly wage rate from NT$140 (US$4.55) to NT$150.

However, the business leaders and labor representatives could not reach a consensus on a minimum wage increase.

Tai Kuo-jung (???), secretary-general of the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions, said that the monthly minimum wage should be raised from NT$22,000 to NT$28,862, a figure that was reached by taking into consideration Taiwan's minimum standard of living in 2017 and its dependency ratio.

He also suggested that the hourly minimum wage be increased from NT$140 to NT$164.

Meanwhile, the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI), which represents the majority of manufacturers in Taiwan, said on July 27 that the government should respect the market mechanism when considering adjustments to the minimum wage.

In similar vein, Lai Cheng-yi (???), chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce, argued that the wage increase will have a negative effect on the job market and will place a heavier burden on business leaders.

The minimum hourly wage, therefore, should not be increased by more than 2 percent, he said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel