The Ministry of Labor (MOL) in Taipei, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

Given an improving economy in the first six months of this year, the minimum monthly wage in Taiwan could increase by 5 percent to NT$22,059 (US$728) from NT$21,009 from 2018 – benefiting 1.22 million local workers and 410,000 migrant workers.

Based on such an adjustment, the minimum hourly wage would rise to NT$140 from $133, meaning another 400,000 people would enjoy a salary increase, the Liberty Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources at the Ministry of Labor (MOL).

Ministry officials said a decision would be discussed at a meeting on August 18 to review the minimum wage.

Labor unions and business groups already voiced divergent views.

Representatives of labor unions noted that some Taiwan corporates have operating earnings up to 30 percent, yet the workforce was not benefiting from the robust business landscape.

And it was no easy task for workers to make ends meet when earning only NT$21,009 a month.

But business groups argue that the five-day working week, which ensures workers can enjoy a fixed holiday each week, plus another flexible rest day, severely increases business costs, according to Udn Daily News.

With the civil service having had a pay freeze for seven years, unions say the government should set a good example for the private sector by raising the minimum wage.

Read: Migrant workers get more overtime pay under new rules

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