The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) is planning to set up a committee after the Lunar New Year holiday to discuss the feasibility of raising the minimum wage, which has remained constant since 1998, council officials said yesterday.
The current minimum wage, which came into effect on Oct. 16, 1997, is NT$15,840 (US$478.55) per month, NT$528 per day, or NT$66 per hour.
The council's decision to form a "basic wage fixing committee" by the end of May comes in the wake of demands from workers' groups who have not seen an adjustment in the minimum wage in over nine years, the officials explained.
A proposal concerning basic wage adjustment must be endorsed by the committee, which would then submit the proposal to the Executive Yuan for ratification, the council said.
Officials said that the council must be very cautious in considering wage adjustments as this affects social welfare benefits, including labor and national health insurance, and the wages of foreign workers. Wage adjustments might also affect local enterprises and economic development, the council said, adding that it has yet to come up with a likely range for such an adjustment.
The proposal to review the minimum wage, however, was opposed by the chairman of a major think tank yesterday, saying it would do more harm to disadvantaged workers.
"The government's proposal would raise the minimum wage above the value of some workers' labor, thus discouraging employers from hiring and pushing companies to move [overseas]," Chen Po-chih (陳博志), an economist and chairman of Taiwan Thinktank, said in a telephone interview with the Central News Agency.
"In the end, it is the disadvantaged workers that will be hurt," Chen said.
CLA Chairman Lee Ying-yuan (
Chen said the council's position was understandable, but that his argument was made based on a global economic perspective and was aimed at protecting poor and unemployed laborers.
Chen called the move to adjust the minimum wage "irresponsible"and said that he would only consider challenges to his view from laborers now paid the current minimum wage -- provided they were willing to accept responsibility for their own future unemployment should their position on an increase be accepted.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among