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Mayors voice concern over minimum wage
Central News Agency
2014-05-13 09:31 PM
Taipei, May 13 (CNA) The mayors of New Taipei and Taichung voiced concern Tuesday over Taiwan's minimum wage and advised the central government to adjust current wage hike mechanisms, according to a source within the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) who spoke on condition of anonymity. New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu and Taichung Mayor Jason Hu, who double as KMT vice chairmen, made the suggestions to President Ma Ying-jeou, who chairs the party, at a weekly meeting, said the source, who attended the meeting. According to the source, Chu noted that many workers disagree with the current threshold for raising the minimum wage. Currently, a minimum wage review meeting will only be held when the consumer price index rises by 3 percent or higher. Chu also suggested increasing taxes for companies that do not increase salaries for their employees, according to the source. Hu, on the other hand, said profit-earning businesses should give a third of their profits to their shareholders, a third to their workers and a third to charity, the source said. In response, Ma asked officials to study the mayors' proposals, the source said.

Taiwan's stagnant real wages -- at the same level they were at 16 years ago -- as well as the minimum wage, have become hot topics recently, after labor groups protested against low pay May 1 and inflation was reported May 6 to have hit a 14-month high in April. Real monthly earnings averaged NT$44,739 (US$1,481) in 2013, lower than the average of NT$44,798 in 1998, despite economic growth of over 2 percent. (By Liu Li-jung and Christie Chen)

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