Rise in minimum wage to deal with inflation and economic hardship: MOL

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Taipei, Sep 1 (CNA) A 4.55% hike in the minimum monthly wage next year agreed Thursday by the Ministry of Labor’s Minimum Wage Review Committee (MOL) aims to both offset inflationary pressure on workers and minimize costs for businesses, many of which have barely recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) said on the day.

The committee decided to increase the monthly and hourly minimum wage by 4.55% and 4.76%, respectively, effective January 1, 2023.

If the proposal is approved by the Cabinet, the increase will raise the minimum monthly salary from NT$25,250 (US$828) to NT$26,400, and the minimum hourly salary from NT$168 to NT$176, depending on the committee.

However, the hike failed to meet the 11% increase demanded by union leaders, while some business leaders also expressed frustration, saying they expected the hike to be lower. at 3%.

Speaking in defense of the committee’s decision, Hsu said the 4.55% hike was a compromise between committee members who represent unions and professional associations.

The rise was calculated based on an assessment of inflation as measured by growth in the consumer price index and economic growth this year, which are expected to be 2.92% and 3, respectively. 76%, Hsu said.

This is the result of adding 2.92% and half of the economic growth rate, to guarantee “a share of the fruits of economic growth” to workers and management, while taking into account the pandemic-hit economy, she said.

At the meeting, union representatives said inflation had eaten away at wage increases, while business representatives argued that inflation had also pushed up production costs and lowered incomes, some businesses still struggling to recover from the pandemic, she noted.

The wage increase will benefit 1.75 million local workers, including 484,300 migrant workers, most of whom work in industries, construction and nursing homes covered by the Labor Standards Act, as well as 574,600 local workers paid by the hour, according to the ministry.

The committee’s decision marked the seventh consecutive year that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has raised the minimum wage.

Compared to the level before Tsai came to power in 2016, the minimum monthly wage increased by 31.9%, from NT$20,008, and the minimum hourly wage increased by 46.7%, from NT$120. .

However, the monthly minimum wage is still below the campaign pledge Tsai made in 2016 to raise the minimum wage rate to NT$30,000.

Hsu said the government had moved closer to that goal over the years, but also needed to avoid serious disruption to businesses and the labor market amid challenges in the post-pandemic era.

Update

September 1: “Salt on our wounds”: business groups denounce the rise in the minimum wage

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