Wed, Aug 25, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Minimum wage talks set for next month: Wang

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Amid labor groups’ calls for a raise to the minimum wage, Council of Labor Affairs Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) yesterday said minimum wage talks could take place in the middle of next month.

In the past few weeks, several groups have spoken of the need to promptly raise the minimum wage, including the Youth Labor Union 95, Taiwan Labor Front, Alliance for a Fair Tax Reform and numerous trade unions. Some labor activists have proposed that the minimum monthly wage be raised to at least NT$19,700 per month, and the minimum hourly wage raised to NT$115.

The minimum monthly wage of NT$17,280 and minimum hourly wage of NT$95 were last adjusted in 2007.

The council has been widely accused by labor groups of dragging its feet on raising the minimum wage through such tactics as proposing to change the composition of the minimum wage adjustment committee.

In response to the activists’ claims, Wang said that the proposal, which was sent to the Executive Yuan last month, received approval last week and officials have begun to make preparations for talks to begin next month.

“Basically, we will hold the meeting in the middle of September,” Wang said.

“This week, we will begin sending notices to major labor unions for them to nominate committee members that would represent the labor side,” Wang said.

The council’s proposal calls for the composition of the minimum wage committee to be changed by decreasing the level of government representation to allow more representatives from labor, business and academia.

The committee would be chaired by the council and made up of 21 members, seven of whom would represent business and seven labor, with four academics and three government officials.

The move follows criticism that the government gave its own officials a majority of the seats on the committee.

The council has also proposed changing the time that the annual minimum wage talks are held from every July to a date in the third quarter.

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