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Monthly minimum wage set to rise to NT$23,100 next year

2018/08/16 23:00:06

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) The monthly minimum wage in Taiwan is to be increased by 5 percent from NT$22,000 (US$714) to NT$23,100 with effect from Jan. 1, 2019, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) announced Thursday.

The hourly minimum wage will be increased by 7.14 percent from NT$140 to NT$150, the ministry said.

The decision was reached earlier in the day at an MOL meeting with representatives of labor unions and business groups, the ministry said, adding that it will be submitted to the Executive Yuan for approval.

However, labor representatives were not happy with the decision and walked out of the meeting on one occasion, said Chang Hsu-cheng (張旭政), president of the National Federation of Teachers Unions, R.O.C.

Labor representatives wanted a minimum monthly wage of NT$23,540, an increase of 7 percent, but in the end reluctantly settled for NT$23,100, according to Chang.

In response to the decision, Ho Yu (何語), a director at the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI), said "We are not satisfied with the result, but can accept it."

The wage hike is expected to increase labor costs for industry by NT$39 billion a year.

However, with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accounting for 96.8 percent of all the businesses in Taiwan, a monthly minimum wage increase could have a huge impact and even force small enterprises out of business, Ho said.

A minimum salary hike could also increase unemployment among young people, Ho said, noting that the jobless rate among young people is currently about 9.8-10 percent.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Evelyn Kao)
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