The government and various non-governmental organizations are always touting global recognition for the country, focusing on its developed status and the high-tech products it produces.
Unfortunately, a negative view of Taiwan is usually portrayed in the Western media, much of which is deserved. One example is, the attention given to the dreadful treatment of overseas workers and the slave trade.
However, we now have proof that the poor worker in Taiwan is paid such a low minimum wage that he or she may almost be living in Third World poverty.
The fact that this pittance has not risen for 10 years is another shocking expose of this country's values.
Needless to say, a minimum hourly wage, and it has to be assessed on an hourly basis, should reflect the cost of living. Taking today's price index into consideration. a fair rate would be in excess of NT$180. This is not inflationary, as it counteracts inflation by fueling the economy with consumers spending more.
Put simply, if you are Taiwanese, you should ask yourself this question: Would you buy a car, computer or an apartment made by a person who works more than 60 hours per week and is being paid only NT$100 per hour? Would you expect the product to be high quality? If your honest answer is "no," then do not expect Western consumers to buy your products!
It is no excuse to quote company bosses who complain about competition from China and other Asian countries. The Japanese learned this lesson, and through hard work they developed high quality products while managing to pay a decent wage.
It's all a question of ethics. It appears that many Taiwanese employers have no conscience.
This negative publicity may even lead to a boycott of many Taiwanese products in the West, especially when companies are exposed for maltreating foreign workers and generally using working practices reminiscent of a Dickens novel.
The CLA should listen to the working people and stop kowtowing to business leaders.