The minimum wage committee will convene in September. Taiwan's employers have long expressed hopes for the minimum wage to stay put as they are struggling with the pandemic while labor groups call for a "significant" increase citing reasons of strong exports. A lawmaker also points out that legalization and clear and transparent criteria are important so that discussions on minimum wage won't once again turn into a bargaining war between employers and labor groups.
The current minimum wage in Taiwan is NT$24,000 per month and NT$160 per hour. The annual minimum wage committee meeting has been pushed back to September because of the epidemic. Labor groups were sadden by the NT$2 increase in hourly minimum wage, despite the economy and exports both grew strongly in 2020.
Cheng Ya-hui, Secretary-General, Legislative Yuan Social Justice and Labor Policy Committee:”Taiwan's (economy) is "hot outside and cold inside" right now. (The government says domestic demand) will go up with the stimulus (vouchers), but these are separate issues. You can't say you're going to use vouchers to offset minimum wage (adjustments).”
Chiang Chien-hsing, Chair, Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions:”The minimum wage committee has no real status. It only exists because there's a law saying it should. If you want to elevate its legal status, you have to legislate that.”
Labor groups blames the lack of legislation for lukewarm increases of minimum wages . A relatable draft bill was announced in November 2018, but no progress has been made ever since. Taiwan People's Party lawmakers are calling for the promulgation of the bill as soon as possible. One scholar says even a special law would not apply to everyone and issues including the inclusion of migrant workers, review benchmarks and economic indicators still need to be hashed out.
Hsin Ping-lung, Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Labor and Human Resources, CCU:”The number of dependents should be included in the law, along with a minimum threshold and economic benchmarks. The cost of living should be included as well.”
The scholar urges the transparency of the formulas for the minimum wages. The government should shoulder the responsibilities on the issue, instead of leaving labors and company owners having dogfights on the agenda.