The monthly minimum wage in Taiwan will be increased from NT$20,008 (US$639) to NT$21,009 with effect from 2017, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) announced Thursday.
The decision, which also included an increase in the hourly minimum wage, was reached earlier in the day at an MOL meeting with representatives of labor unions and business groups, the ministry said.
At a news conference after the meeting, Labor Minister Kuo Fong-yu (???) said it took a while for the business groups and labor unions to iron out their differences and agree to the MOL's proposal on the scope of the minimum wage increase.
It was agreed that the monthly minimum wage will be raised by about 5 percent to NT$21,009, starting Jan. 1, 2017, he said.
The hourly minimum wage, meanwhile, will be increased from NT$120 to NT$126, starting in October, and hiked again next January to NT$133, Kuo said.
It is estimated the monthly minimum wage increase will extend to about 1.25 million local employees and 370,000 foreign workers, Kuo said.
Meanwhile, the hourly minimum wage will cover some 390,000 workers, he said.
The MOL's minimum wage review meeting was scheduled for July 26 but was postponed because the business groups refused to attend.
Prior to Thursday's meeting, labor rights activists had been pushing for a minimum wage of NT$26,000 per month and NT$163 per hour, citing reasons such as the need to boost employment and domestic demand and to reduce the number of working poor.
Taiwan's minimum wage was most recently adjusted on July 1 last year, when it was raised 3.81 percent to NT$20,008 per month and NT$120 per hour.
Thursday's decision on the minimum wage increase will now be sent to the Cabinet for approval.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel