Minimum wage may increase 4%

‘WAY OFF’::The Taiwan Labour Front said the proposed monthly increase to NT$20,008 was unacceptable, as it is still far from the NT$23,745 that the group is asking for

By Kan Chih-chi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

Sat, Aug 30, 2014 - Page 1

The nation’s monthly and hourly minimum wages may increase next year by about 4 percent, a Ministry of Labor committee concluded after a four-hour meeting yesterday.

The committee, presided over by Minister of Labor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文), recommended that the minimum monthly wage be raised by 3.8 percent, or NT$735 per month, to NT$20,008, and that the minimum hourly wage be increased by 4.3 percent to NT$120.

If approved by the Executive Yuan, the wage increases — which would be more than double the government’s forecast of inflation of 1.64 percent this year — are to be implemented in July next year, the committee said.

Next year’s potential wage hike would follow a 1.2 percent rise in the minimum wage this year to NT$19,273, which took effect in July, and a 5.5 percent increase in the hourly minimum wage to NT$115, which was implemented in January.

According to the ministry, the proposed wage increase would directly affect 1.5 million Taiwanese and 300,000 foreign workers.

The Taiwan Labour Front yesterday said that the decision by the committee was unacceptable.

Taiwan is continuing on the path of oppressing its workers, the group said.

The fight for basic wages has been going on for at least three decades and the latest proposed increase “is still some way off from the NT$23,745 the group has set as the goal” for workers, Taiwan Labour Front secretary-general Son Yu-liam (孫友聯) said.

Moreover, the committee’s proposal continues to violate Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Resolution No. 131 of the International Labor Organization, Son said.

The basic principle of “guaranteeing workers and their ability to provide their families with basic living standards” is what labor rights groups in Taiwan are aiming for, he said.

Son said the group would continue pushing to enact a law on reviewing basic wages to protect workers if the government delays wage adjustments because of pressure from businesses.