Labor rights advocates yesterday renewed calls for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to fulfil campaign promises to pass a minimum-wage act and criticized review standards as a meeting of the Ministry of Labor’s annual Minimum Wage Review Committee approaches.
“The government cannot keep avoiding this issue, as it was one of its main labor policy promises and is crucial to Tsai’s vow to combat low wages,” Taiwan Labour Front secretary-general Son Yu-liam (孫友聯) said, adding that while the New Power Party (NPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucuses have proposed minimum-wage legislation, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) legislative caucus has yet to take action.
“What is meant by ‘basic’ has never been clearly defined,” Son said, adding that the government has often changed its calculation standards, at one point seeking to make determinations based on a formula centered around industrial production and economic growth.
The minimum wage was most recently raised to NT$21,009 per month following last year’s meeting, with this year’s to be held by the end of September, according to the provisions of the Regulations for the Deliberation of Basic Wage (基本工資審議辦法).
Chinese Culture University Department of Labor Relations associate professor Lee Chien-hung (李健鴻) said the passage of formal minimum-wage legislation is necessary because of the vague and non-binding nature of review standards.
“While the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) mandates the establishment of a minimum wage, it allows the government to set its own review standards, which means that none of the seven standards set under the Regulations for the Deliberation of Basic Wage are truly binding,” Lee said. “The result is endless controversy, as every year’s committee devolves into blatant haggling.”
Review standards that are in force include overall economic development, two price indices, average income and wages and overall employment conditions.
“It is clear that economic considerations have had a huge influence over minimum-wage adjustments, but this has failed to adhere to the fundamental principle that the minimum wage is supposed to benefit the weakest and most marginalized workers, so you cannot just focus on the economic situation when deciding whether to make economic adjustments,” Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions president Chuang Chueh-an (莊爵安) said, adding that strong economic growth should warrant an increase at this year’s meeting.
Worker compensation as a percentage of GDP fell sharply from 51 percent in 1992 to 44 percent in 2015, according to Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics figures, Chuang said, calling for the administrative function of the committee to be raised as part of any reform.
The committee is “consultative,” with motions subject to government veto, Lee said.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
INCREASINGLY EMBOLDENED: China can no longer be dismissed as inexperienced, demonstrating an ability to coordinate land and sea missile systems, an expert said Beijing’s largest-ever exercises around Taiwan have offered essential clues into its plans for a grueling blockade in the event of an attack on Taiwan, and revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military, experts said. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi — second in line to the presidency — sparked outrage from Beijing, which launched vast military maneuvers around the nation, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies. Mobilizing fighter planes, helicopters and warships, the drills aim to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing an “attack on
RESTRICTION EASED: Passengers would no longer be directed to designated waiting areas, and be allowed to shop and dine, the operator of the airport said International travelers transiting at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport would from today be allowed to go shopping and dine in the airport’s departure areas, the airport operator said, as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) eased some border restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. Taoyuan International Airport Corp said reopening borders is a global trend, and since reallowing transit passengers from June 15, the airport has continued to review its procedures to improve services and efficiency. Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC, inspected the airport on July 22, while Deputy Minister of Transportation and