Commerce leader blasts hikes to minimum wage


TAIPEI — Commerce and industry groups came out yesterday against a Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) proposal to raise minimum wages on fears it would erode competitiveness.

Taiwanese businesses are opposed to the rate hike, which would see monthly wages grow from NT$19,047 (US$635) to NT$19,273, according to Chang Pen-tsao, chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China.

He declined to comment on the CLA’s proposed raise to minimum hourly wages, one day after he was reported as saying that businesses are more willing to accept hourly wage hikes.

The CLA’s minimum wage review committee recommended Wednesday that the hourly wages be upped from the current NT$109 to NT$115, starting Jan. 1 next year, while monthly wage hike should take effect from July 1.

The proposals, however, still require Cabinet approval before they can be implemented.

Labor groups have called for raising the minimum monthly wage to NT$22,639 and hourly wage to NT$133, figures which they say are the minimum needed to protect the rights of workers.