A labor rights group yesterday called on the government to raise the minimum hourly wage to NT$112 (US$3.86), instead of NT$103 as planned.
The Youth Labor Union 95 made the appeal during a protest in front of the Executive Yuan in Taipei against the government’s plan to raise the minimum monthly wage from NT$17,880 to NT$18,780, and the hourly wage from NT$98 to NT$103.
The group urged the government to include 19 days of national holidays and an average three days of annual leave into its calculations for the minimum wage, so that part-time workers could receive the same amount of money as salaried workers on a minimum monthly salary working the same hours.
The current minimum hourly wage of NT$98 was calculated by dividing the minimum monthly salary of NT$17,880 by maximum monthly working hours of 182.7 hours, Youth Labor Union 95 member Chen Hsiao-wen (陳曉雯) said.
If the group’s demand is accepted, then it should be counted by dividing the 5 percent raised minimum monthly salary of NT$18,780 with maximum monthly working hours of 168 hours, and will result in NT$112 per hour, Youth Labor Union 95 member Jiang Yi-han (江奕翰) said.
“If the hourly wage does not reach NT$112, the government will be ‘flunked’ in next year’s presidential and legislative elections,” the protesters shouted.
According to Youth Labor Union 95 executive commissioner Lucas Hu (胡孟瑀), an online survey the group conducted in 2007 showed that more than 68 percent of workers have never received double pay for working national holidays, while 99 percent said they have never received double wages for working during the Lunar New Year holiday.
The Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) requires employers to pay double time for work on national holidays.
Hu also called on the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) to fine employers who shortchange their workers.
Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), section chief of the council’s working conditions department, said at a separate setting that if national holidays and annual leave were included in the wage calculations, it would make it even more difficult for employees to receive double pay for holiday work.
Huang said the council was already checking hospitals, retailers, kindergartens, nursery schools and places that hire students to ensure that they are adhering to the double-pay regulations.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA