Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan labor activists want rise in basic minimum wage

Decision expected Monday from Council of Labor Affairs panel

Taiwan labor activists want rise in basic minimum wage

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Labor activists want the Council of Labor Affairs to hike the monthly basic minimum wage to NT$22,115 (US$695) after a meeting Monday.
The current minimum salary of NT$17,280 (US$543) was first introduced in 2007 and should be raised to close the growing gap between rich and poor, labor groups said.
The CLA is scheduled to host a meeting Monday morning to discuss an eventual adjustment. The commission entrusted with a decision includes seven labor representatives but also seven members from business organizations, who are staunchly opposed to any rise.
Employers have also asked for foreign workers to be exempt from the minimum wage. CLA Minister Jennifer Wang said she would resign if the government decided in favor of such a move.
Labor groups arrived at the NT$22,115 demand by taking into account that NT$9,829 (US$309) was the lowest average monthly individual expense in Taiwan and that each person had to take care of an average 1.25 dependents.
The sum would allow the lowest-paid 1.26 million workers to lead a life with respect, said Hsieh Chuang-chih, secretary-general of the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions.
He said the movement would mobilize members and supporters outside the CLA-hosted meeting Monday, hoping labor representatives could persuade the business organizations to give up their opposition.
Taiwan’s main competitors as well as major industrial nations had all raised their minimum wages, Hsieh said, rejecting arguments from employers against a hike. A government refusal to end the wage freeze could lead to street protests, he said.
Labor groups have assailed the rising cost of living, the widening gap in wealth between the nation’s richest and poorest families, and the fact that the unemployment rate is staying above 5 percent despite government promises.


Updated : 2021-08-01 20:03 GMT+08:00