Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Businesspeople urge labor law change to reduce costs

ADJUSTMENTS:About 15.5% of firms polled said they plan to accelerate automation, while 14.2% said that they would move production lines overseas

Staff writer, with CNA

Businesspeople want President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration to change the labor laws that came into effect less than two months ago, saying that otherwise, the nation could face inflation, an exodus of companies, infuriated business owners and unhappy workers.

Manufacturers United General Association of Industrial Parks (MUGA, 工業區廠商聯合總會) chairman Chin Chia-hung (秦嘉鴻) yesterday said that he would meet with Minister of Labor Lin Mei-chu (林美珠) this week to discuss the issue.

General Chamber of Commerce (GCC, 全國商總) chairman Lai Cheng-i (賴正鎰) said his organization has arranged to meet with lawmakers next month.

Tsai approved changes to the new workplace laws in a meeting with businesspeople on Tuesday last week, Chin said.

Deputy Minister of Labor Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文) said he was unaware of Tsai giving any such approval.

A survey of businesses released yesterday showed that all the respondents have seen a rise in their human resources costs, with 67.4 percent saying that they have had difficulty arranging workers’ rosters, while 46 percent said they might consider raising the prices of their products or services by as much as 10 percent.

Among the 735 respondents, 72.8 percent said their labor costs have increased by more than 3 percent, while 27.2 percent said their costs are up from 1 to 3 percent, the survey conducted by MUGA, GCC and five other business groups said.

About 15.5 percent of the companies polled said they would accelerate automated production, 14.2 percent said they would move production lines overseas or refer purchase orders to other firms, and 6.2 percent said they would close their business.

The survey was conducted from Jan. 20 to Jan. 26 and received 735 valid samples.

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