Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group announces 1% pay bump

Group goes ahead with annual pay raise amid losses from coronavirus

(Formosa Plastics Group via CNA photo)

(Formosa Plastics Group via CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團) has announced a one percent pay raise for rank-and-file employees despite revenue being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision was agreed upon by William Wong (王文淵), chairman of FPG, and the group’s labor union representatives in a meeting on Tuesday (July 7). FPG is a long-standing conglomerate in Taiwan whose business interests span plastics, biotech, petrochemical, energy, and transportation.

According to the wage adjustment plan, non-management workers will see their monthly salary increased by one percent, plus an NT$3,300 (US$112) bonus. The one percent raise translates to around NT$500 for the average monthly payment of NT$54,800, reported UDN.

It is a traditional practice for the conglomerate to implement a pay increase every year in July, taking into account salary levels of industry players, inflation, and growth prospects. Despite the adjustment being the smallest in a decade, union representatives expressed content over the move amid the COVID-19 impact.

The past two years have not been a smooth ride for FPG, which suffered a 40 percent plunge in revenue last year due to the U.S.-China trade war, and the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic this year that has sent oil prices into a tailspin. It posted an NT$127.1 billion (US$4.3 billion) profit in 2019 and a loss of NT$13.9 billion (US$471 million) for the first quarter in 2020.

Pay raises implemented for the past years were 3.5 percent in 2015, 3.5 percent in 2016, 3.8 percent in 2017, 4 percent in 2018, and 3.378 percent in 2019, wrote CNA.