Busi­ness groups halt wage hike bill’s third read­ing


The con­tro­ver­sial Kuom­intang(KMT) pro­posed amend­ments to pro­mote wage in­creases (

) for lo­cal work­ers, orig­i­nally sched­uled for a third read­ing at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan yes­ter­day, were met with op­po­si­tion by busi­ness groups and re­called by the Leg­isla­tive Yuan New Al­liance (LYNA, ). Fur­ther dis­cus­sion with the Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) is cur­rently ar­ranged for next Thurs­day, ac­cord­ing to the KMT. LYNA’s Lee Tung- hao ( ) said that the party’s re­call­ing of the pack­age was based upon con­cerns over pop­ulism leg­is­la­tion, and ex­plained that the KMT’s rushed at­tempt at pass­ing the de­bat­able pro­posal, along with the DPP and the Peo­ple First Party’s (PFP, ) pas­sive su­per­vi­sion of the rul­ing party, had spurred on their de­ci­sion.

Lee re­it­er­ated that LYNA sup­ports the amend­ments; how­ever, the pro­posal lacks clar­i­fi­ca­tion on how en­ter­prises would give back to em­ploy­ees. “All three par­ties should con­sider an in- depth dis­cus­sion in­stead of rush­ing head on to pass the amend­ment,” Lee said, point­ing out that rashly pass­ing the pack­age would turn the Leg­isla­tive Yuan into a laugh­ing stock; the pro­posal even con­tained spell­ing mis­takes.

The pro­posed pack­age orig­i­nally saw high hopes of pass­ing three of the four sets of laws yes­ter­day — the La­bor Stan­dards Act, the Com­pany Act and the Fac­tory Act. The fourth law, the Small and Medium En­ter­prises Devel­op­ment Act, re­quired de­bate due to con­flicts of in­ter­ests re­gard­ing wage in­crease lev­els and the de­duc­tion of taxes.

In re­sponse to the re­called pack­age, Leg­isla­tive Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng ( ) said that con­tin­ual har­mony be­tween en­ter­prises and em­ploy­ees is the most im­por­tant as­pect, and the ul­ti­mate goal is to con­struct a plan that is ben­e­fi­cial for both sides.

How­ever, Wang also found it puz­zling that the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan ( ) never brought for­ward its own ver­sion of the wage in­crease pack­age, say­ing it was “not the norm in th­ese cases.”

Dis­cus­sion with DPP Sched­uled

for Next Thurs­day: KMT

KMT cau­cus whip Lai Shyh-bao ( ) said that the con­sul­ta­tion is sched­uled for next Thurs­day, and that the party will con­tinue to ad­vo­cate the amend­ments.

Lai said that the party is “re­luc­tantly re­spect­ful” of LYNA’s de­ci­sion to re­call the pack­age, but re­mained op­ti­mistic about next Thurs­day’s dis­cus­sion, which will be held by Wang him­self.

“Dis­cus­sions held by Speaker Wang will al­ways bring out re­sults,” Lai said, fur­ther ex­plain­ing that the op­po­si­tion party held reser­va­tions about the 29th Reg­u­la­tion un­der the La­bor Stan­dards Act, rather than the 235th Reg­u­la­tion un­der the Com­pany Act.

On the other hand, while KMT Leg­is­la­tor Wu Yu-sheng ( ) de­scribed the pro­posed pack­age as a “des­per­ate mea­sure,” the KMT will re­spect any en­ter­prises hold­ing doubts about the amend­ment pack­age, Wu said.

Wu also im­plored en­ter­prises not to re­sort to mov­ing com­pa­nies out of Tai­wan as a way to scare Tai­wanese cit­i­zens and threaten the gov­ern­ment and Leg­isla­tive Yuan. Rather, Wu hopes en­ter­prises will take this op­por­tu­nity to “lead by ex­am­ple” and pro­vide in­creased wages for em­ploy­ees.

KMT Leg­is­la­tor Liao Kuo­tung ( ) re­ported that af­ter Thurs­day’s dis­cus­sion, the wage in­crease pro­posal will be sent into Leg­isla­tive Yuan sit­tings on Fri­day.

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