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Labor groups in Taiwan praised the increasing of minimum wage amid global pandemic

Labor groups praised a proposed minimum wage hike for this year, while industry representatives expressed disappointment, saying that it would create a greater burden for businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Basic Wage Deliberation Committee, convened by the Ministry of Labor and comprised of workers, employers and scholars, said Tuesday that the minimum monthly wage in Taiwan should be raised NT$200 (US$6.8) to NT$24,000, while the minimum hourly wage should increase NT$2 to NT$160.

The proposal still needs to be approved by the Cabinet. If passed, it will apply to all workers in Taiwan except for foreign domestic workers, who are not covered under the Labor Standards Act.

The Taiwan Labour Front welcomed the proposal, saying in a statement that a rise in the minimum wage would make a tangible improvement in the lives of workers.

"Although the (proposed) increase this year is small, raising the minimum wage now will spur consumption, and improve the lives and economic development of many workers," the group said.

The basic wage in Taiwan has barely risen over the past few decades and is still relatively low, the group said, adding that in the past four years, when minimum monthly wage was increased by around NT$1,000 annually, it did not have the negative impact on the unemployment rate that employers had predicted. (By CNA)

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