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Food firms expect little impact from planned wage increases

TAIPEI--The local food industry said Saturday that the proposal to hike the minimum wage is expected to have little impact on the sector's operations as most food producers already offer higher pay.

Tu Chung-cheng, a spokesman of food giant Uni-President Enterprises Corp., said his company has a system in place to regularly raise wages for its employees, and its wages are all above the proposed new minimums of NT$20,008 (US$669.45) per month or NT$120 per hour.

Those numbers were put forward by the Ministry of Labor's minimum wage review committee on Friday. They represent a rise in monthly full-time pay of 3.8 percent and in part-time hourly pay of 4.3 percent, pending approval from the Cabinet.

Wei Chuan Foods Corp., another major player in the industry, said it has raised wages by 3-5 percent annually over the past two years.

Newly employed workers with a university degree are paid NT$32,000-NT$34,000 a month, the conglomerate said, while employees with graduate degrees are paid NT$40,000-NT$43,000 a month.

Wei Chuan said the company has always heeded the government's calls for taking care of employees and improving their benefits.

Outside of the food industry, iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. said that its pay has also topped minimum wage and it raises salaries every year.

The world's largest contract electronics manufacturer pledged to continue to provide satisfactory compensation to employees.

According to the financial data filed by Hon Hai, the company spent about NT$12 billion in wages, performance bonuses, and stock bonuses last year.

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