Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Taipei to increase living subsidies for certain workers

Taipei to increase living subsidies for certain workers

SOLID FOUNDATION:The changes to workers’ aid from the Taipei Labor Rights Foundation did not require city council approval, an official said

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Representatives from various workers’ rights associations hold a press conference in Taipei yesterday, demanding wage increases and announcing a mass demonstration on May 1.

Photo: CNA

The Taipei City Government yesterday announced new plans to support workers’ rights by increasing the living subsidies provided by the Taipei Labor Rights Foundation.
The foundation provides financial support to workers engaged in labor-related legal battles over issues such as pensions, occupational injuries or being illegally fired or laid off.
Financial support includes living subsidies as well as subsidies for workers’ legal expenses.
Term changes announced yesterday are to increase the monthly living subsidies available from NT$19,273 (US$618) to NT$23,000.
“We hope to strengthen guarantees for Taipei’s workers by increasing the living expense subsidies to 1.2 times the minimum wage,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said, attributing the change to Taipei’s high cost of living.
Department of Labor Commissioner Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) said that subsidy terms would also be lengthened from one to two years for ordinary workers and from two to three years for union officials.
She said the change was to take into consideration the drawn-out legal process for labor disputes, as a single appeal can often take two or three years.
Division chief Ye Chien-neng (葉建能) said that because only the amount and length of subsidies would be altered, the city government did not require approval from the city council for the changes.
He said the department estimates that the changes will increase living subsidies by about 60 percent to about NT$4.9 million annually.

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