Terry Gou puts forth ideas to tackle salary stagnation

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Gou, who is seeking to run for president next year, proposed a series of measures on May 22 to address the problem of salary stagnation in Taiwan. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who is seeking to run for president next year, proposed a series of measures on May 22 to address the problem of salary stagnation in Taiwan.

In a Facebook post, Gou said that if elected president, he will use big data technology to set up a site that will show the salary levels in listed companies and their profitability.

That will give job seekers a better idea of which companies are willing to share their profits with their employees by offering good pay, said Gou, one of the wealthiest men in Taiwan.

Such transparency will also prompt low-paying employers to raise salaries, he added.

“I have repeatedly said that profitable companies should raise their employees’ salaries, which would help end the long-term problem of salary growth stagnation,” Gou said.

Those companies that fail to do so should not be allowed to bid for government contracts and should be excluded from government incentives and subsidies that are aimed at encouraging industrial transformation, he said.

Raising salaries will allow Taiwan to retain talent and strengthen its economy, said Gou, who is seeking the opposition Kuomintang’s nomination as its 2020 presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, the government should help enterprises that are in the red by creating a more business-friendly environment, then push them to raise salaries, Gou said.

If elected president, he said, he will also tighten control of the property market so that companies’ earnings will not be eroded by high property prices.

Gou said he will also encourage greater cooperation between the business and academic sectors in an effort to nurture talent to meet the needs of enterprises.

According to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), the average regular wage in Taiwan rose 2.25 percent in March from a year earlier, after a 1.86 percent year-on-year increase in February.

After inflationary adjustments, however, real wages in March were at the same level as 17 years ago, DGBAS data showed.

By Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang