President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has claimed the credit for six consecutive minimum wage hikes, but a report by the 1111 Job Bank says that 53.4 percent of all salaried workers have not had a raise in more than three years.
Department store employees fared the worst among salaried workers, averaging four years and three months without having a salary raise, the report said.
In second was the services industry, which went an average of three years and eight months without a raise, it added.
By contrast, workers in the financial services or corporate sectors did comparatively better, averaging two years and three months without a raise.
When interviewed, 52.1 percent of respondents said that companies have neglected to establish mechanisms for adjusting salaries.
Citing companies’ excuses for not boosting salaries, 33.8 percent of respondents said that their company complained of poor performance, while another 21.1 percent said that their company told them that they lacked the seniority needed, the report said.
Consumer spending in Taiwan has nearly ground to a halt since COVID-19 first spread worldwide in 2019 and following a local outbreak in May, 1111 Job Bank spokeswoman Vivi Hwang (黃若薇) said yesterday.
Disease prevention measures prompted people to curtail their use of eateries and services across the nation, with some businesses reducing work hours, slashing pay or asking employees to take unpaid leave, she said.
Other businesses were forced to lay off staff, Hwang added.
Citing Ministry of Labor data on unpaid leave, Hwang said that 2,921 businesses — mostly in the retail and services sectors — have asked employees to take unpaid leave, affecting more than 27,050 workers.
While the COVID-19 situation appears to be easing, many companies have said that they would not consider raising employees’ salaries as their operations have not returned to pre-pandemic levels, Hwang said.
Tsai took credit for the wage hikes at the Double Ten National Day celebrations, saying that the minimum wage increases — with a monthly minimum salary of NT$25,250 and a minimum hourly wage of NT$168 — signaled that Taiwan’s economy is still growing, despite the pandemic.
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