Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) The minimum monthly wage will be raised to NT$19,047 (US$636) starting next year and the basic hourly wage will be increased in two stages, Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) Minister Wang Ju-hsuan said Thursday.
"The minimum wage will be increased by NT$267 or 1.4 percent to NT$19,047 per month, while the basic hourly wage will be hiked in two stages, with the first hike to NT$109 in January 2013 and a further increase to a minimum of NT$115 in 2014," Wang said.
Currently, the minimum wage per month is NT$18,780, while the minimum hourly wage is NT$103.
The consensus, reached after a five-hour committee meeting, will be sent to the Executive Yuan for approval and go into effect Jan. 1, 2013, the minister said.
A number of labor unions staged a protest prior to the meeting Thursday, calling for the minimum wage to be increased to NT$23,151 and the hourly wage to be upped to NT$127.
The CLA convenes a committee meeting in the third quarter of every year to review the nation's minimum wage. The committee is comprised of seven representatives each from the labor and the management sectors, as well as four scholars and three government officials. The council's minister presides over the meeting.
Previously, the council said that the priority this year was to raise the hourly wage, adding that it was one of the campaign promises of President Ma Ying-jeou during his re-election bid.
Ahead of the meeting, representatives of the management sector said that in view of the current weak economy, the minimum wage should not be raised, adding that there was some room for discussion concerning an increase to the hourly wage.
(By Zoe Wei and Lilian Wu)