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Economic Daily News: Wage hike falls short of expectations

Economic Daily News: Wage hike falls short of expectations

Premier Wu Den-yih approved earlier this week a Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) -proposed minimum wage adjustment package that will raise the minimum monthly wage from the current NT$17,280 (US$540) to NT$17,880 and the minimum hourly wage from NT$95 to NT$98, with effect from the beginning of next year.
Neither labor unions nor business owners are satisfied with the package, and Wu's approval reflects the government's belief that the adjustments are acceptable as they represent a middle-of-the-road stance.
The minimum wage issue involves the conflicting interests of labor and management. If the government articulates the main purposes of wage adjustments, it will be easier to reduce disputes and realize major policy goals.
The existing minimum wage calculation model is full of flaws and needs an overhaul and until the system is updated, the government should at least respect the recommendations offered by the CLA's wage-screening commission.
The commission had suggested that the minimum wage should be adjusted in tandem with the domestic inflation rate.
According to the commission's data, local consumer prices rose an average of 4.47 percent between 2006 and 2009.
CLA Minister Wang Ju-hsuan, however, arbitrarily decided to raise the minimum wage by only 3.47 percent, on the grounds that the unemployment rate remains high at 5.2 percent and that the country posted a negative GDP growth last year.
Her decision was controversial and could fuel more grievances among blue-collar laborers. The smaller-than-expected adjustment range falls far short of public expectations and will prove even more inappropriate in consideration of the fact that Taiwan's GDP growth is forecast to reach 8.24 percent this year.
(Editorial abstract -- Sept. 22, 2010) (By Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2021-10-28 04:05 GMT+08:00