Corporate world shows little interest in meeting on wage hike

08/24/2014 08:14 PM

Taipei, Aug. 24 (CNA) The Ministry of Labor said Sunday that businesses will be under-represented at a meeting the following day to discuss a wage rise, amid rumors that the corporate world is boycotting the meeting to express discontent with the government's handling of the issue.

Five out of the seven business representatives invited will not be present at the meeting, including the Chinese National Federation of Industries and the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, Taiwan, according to Liu Chuan-ming, a ministry official.

The remarks came in the wake of an Apple Daily report two days earlier that four business representatives will not attend the meeting and another three will walk out of it to show their disapproval of the Cabinet, which they accuse of failing to follow a consensus reached last year.

A meeting on raising the minimum wage was called by the government last August, in which consensus was reached that a next meeting will only be called if there is a 3 percent annual increase in consumer prices.

It was decided last year at the meeting that starting this year, the hourly minimum wage will rise to NT$115 (US$3.81) from NT$109 and that the minimum monthly wage will rise by NT$226 to NT$19,273.

Liu Heng-yuan, vice secretary-general of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China, who might appear at the meeting, said she is concerned about the feeling of being outnumbered that will come if only a small number of business representatives shows up.

Meanwhile, a labor representative and one representing the professional and academic fields will not attend, citing trips abroad.

The Consumer Price Index rose 1.29 percent in the first seven months of this year from the same period of a year earlier, according to the latest official data.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Scully Hsiao)ENDITEM/J

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