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Government urged to improve working conditions for laborers

Government urged to improve working conditions for laborers

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus urged the government Monday -- the eve of Labor Day -- to increase the minimum wage, reduce working hours and freeze electricity price increases. The average real monthly income for laborers in 2011 increased by a meager NT$15 (US$0.5) from a year earlier, an income level equal to that of 14 years ago, indicating that their incomes are unable to meet today's higher living costs, said DPP Legislator Pan Men-an at a press conference. In terms of working hours, laborers in Taiwan last year worked an average of 2,174 hours in the year, greatly surpassing Japan's 1,733 hours per year, the United States' 1,778 hours, Germany's 1,419 hours and the United Kingdom's 1,647 hours, said Pan, citing statistics compiled by the Council of Labor Affairs. He continued that Taiwan's average monthly income in the manufacturing sector in 2011 was US$1,340, lower than that of Japan's US$4,127, Singapore's US$3,126 and the US$3,314 in the U.S. He said that on average, two workers die from overwork every 15 days in Taiwan, while one worker becomes sick from overwork every 4.15 days, a situation that requires investigation. Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei pointed out that 66,000 more laborers earned less than NT$20,000 per month in 2011 than in 2008 -- the last time the DPP was in power -- while 243,000 more people earned less than NT$30,000 per month in 2011 than in 2008. (By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ann Chen)


Updated : 2021-03-06 16:21 GMT+08:00