Fri, Aug 14, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Committee meets for annual review of minimum wage

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) officials met behind closed doors yesterday to discuss whether to adjust the minimum wage.

An evaluation committee consisting of council officials, academics and representatives from business and labor groups reviews the minimum wage — currently NT$17,280 per month — once a year.

Concerned that the committee could recommend cutting the minimum wage, labor groups including the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions (TCTU) said that even before Typhoon Morakot devastated the south, workers with low-wage jobs were struggling to make ends meet.

“Whether the minimum wage is adjusted should follow objective criteria. It is the responsibility of the government and should not be left to hectic haggling between businesses and workers,” TCTU secretary-general Hsieh Tsuan-chih (謝創智) said.

Labor representatives said government data indicate that the minimum wage is not enough to cover basic living costs. As the economy is expected to start a gradual recovery later this year, now is a good time to increase the minimum wage, Hsieh said.

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