Wed, Dec 23, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Minimum wage to remain unchanged

INSUFFICIENT:Several labor unions have been calling for a wage hike, while a Social Democratic Party convener said that the current level did not meet workers’ basic needs

Staff writer, with CNA

There will be no change to the national minimum wage, as the Ministry of Labor’s minimum wage review committee will not meet again this year to discuss whether to adjust it in light of the unfavorable economic situation, an official said on Monday.

In its last meeting in August, the committee decided not to raise the minimum wage.

However, the ministry said at the time that a working group would hold discussions in the fourth quarter to decide whether the committee would meet for a second time on the issue.

At the group’s meeting on Monday, business owners and representatives of labor organizations decided that the committee would not convene again this year, after taking in various economic data, such as GDP and the consumer price index, into consideration, Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment head Hsieh Chien-chien (謝倩蒨) said.

Taiwan Labor Front secretary-general Son Yu-liam (孫友聯) said that it was “ridiculous” that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is on the one hand saying that Taiwan should raise wage levels, while refusing to increase the minimum wage on the other.

The national minimum wage has been increased several times over the past five years, with the latest hike implemented on July 1, raising the monthly minimum wage from NT$19,273 (US$582.44) to NT$20,008, and the hourly minimum wage from NT$115 to NT$120.

However, several labor unions have been calling for a minimum wage of NT$26,000 per month and NT$161 per hour.

In early August, Social Democratic Party convener Fan Yun (范雲) said the minimum wage failed to meet the basic needs of workers and their families, citing the Minimum Wage Fixing Convention, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

A monthly wage of NT$26,000 represents the average income needed to keep a family out of poverty, the labor representatives said, adding that it was calculated by multiplying the Ministry of the Interior’s national individual poverty threshold of about NT$10,000 by the national dependency ratio of 2.6.

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