Taiwan Today: Monthly minimum wage set to rise to NT$23,100 next year, Ang Lee to be honored by Directors Guild of America

The Ministry of Labor (MOL) announced Thursday that 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.

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

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 as they wanted a minimum monthly wage of NT$23,540, an increase of 7 percent.

with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accounting for 96.8 percent of all the businesses in Taiwan, a monthly minimum wage increase could increase labor costs for industry by NT$39 billion a month. 

Ang Lee to be honored by Directors Guild of America

Acclaimed Taiwanese movie director Ang Lee (李安) will be honored this year for his contributions to the industry as a pioneering filmmaker, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced Wednesday.

DGA President Thomas Schlamme said that New York, the cultural epicenter of entertainment, labor and politics, is “where a legendary director like Lee, as a budding Taiwanese filmmaker, came to get started.”

According to the DGA, Lee is widely recognized for his artistic risk-taking, and filmmaking achievements across a range of genres.

His directing credits include Brokeback Mountain, for which he won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement and the Academy Award in 2005, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, for which he won the
DGA Award in 2000, it said.

The American-based director is also the only person from Asia to have won two Oscars for best director — for “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi,” which was released in 2012.

FILE – In this Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, file photo, Taiwanese film director Ang Lee smiles during a media event to promote his new movie ”Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” in Taipei, Taiwan. Ang Lee believes the new technology that made for the hyper-realistic action film “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is worth trying again. So much so the two-time Oscar-winning director will use the faster frames-per-second format in his next project, the boxing movie “Thrilla in Manila.” (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

Taiwan blasts Chinese bullying of 85°C cafe chain

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Thursday criticized China for bullying Taiwan-based 85°C Bakery Cafe, saying that such behavior serves only to undermine the healthy development of cross-strait ties.

“It is a clear case of China suppressing Taiwanese companies and the people of Taiwan absolutely will not accept such a “cultural revolution-like” scheme to coerce Taiwanese firms to take a public political stand,” MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) told a regular news briefing.

China’s hard-line approach to force companies, individuals and countries to accept its ideology is a distortion of universal values, Chiu said, adding that such acts will not only adversely affect cross-strait ties but also trigger a backlash from the international community.

In the wake of the Taiwanese president’s brief visit, Chinese netizens have angrily accused 85°C Bakery Café of supporting Taiwanese independence with some even calling for a boycott of the company which has more than 600 shops in mainland China.