The minimum monthly wage should be raised to more than NT$23,000, a labor union official said yesterday, after Council of Labor Affairs Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) announced that a meeting to review the minimum wage would be held on Aug. 2.
Hsieh Chuang-chih (謝創智), secretary-general of the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions, said the minimum wage proposed by the unions would allow workers to maintain a basic standard of living.
It has always been the unions’ stance that the minimum wage should be calculated on the basis of the nation’s poverty line and the average number of family members each worker supports, Hsieh said.
Currently, the minimum monthly wage stands at NT$18,780 and the hourly wage at NT$103, after they were increased on Jan. 1.
Hsieh’s proposal for a higher minimum wage came after Wang announced at the inauguration of the confederation’s new president that the Minimum Wage Review Committee would hold its annual meeting on Aug. 2.
Asked if Academia Sinica’s lower forecast on Wednesday for the country’s economic growth would affect the committee’s decisions, Wang said opinions from all sides, including those of employers and workers, would be discussed at the meeting before decisions are made.
Academia Sinica revised its forecast of the country’s economic growth this year to 1.94 percent from the 3.81 percent it had forecast in December last year.
Wang has said several times over the past months that she hoped the minimum hourly wage could be raised to NT$115, but her council has set no target for the monthly wage.
Hsieh said that the confederation agreed with the hourly wage hike proposed by the council, but said the monthly wage should be adjusted on a similar scale.
“Even if the GDP growth shows a small decline, the minimum monthly wage should be higher than NT$23,000,” Hsieh said.
The Minimum Wage Review Committee, headed by the labor minister, currently has 21 members that represent employers, labor, academia and government agencies.