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September 23, 2017

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TAIWAN SALARIES REPORT : Cram school staffers among the worst paid

Taiwanese working in cram schools reported the lowest average salaries, while those working in security and private investigation services worked the longest hours last year, according to figures published by the Taiwan Labour Front (台灣勞工陣線) on Monday.

The labor group announced the findings of a study conducted based on figures released by the Executive Yuan's Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS, 主計總處) — specifically statistics for "Salary and Productivity" and "Manpower Utilization" for 2015.

The group urged the Ministry of Labor (勞動部) to pay attention to the fact that labor conditions may be deteriorating and to take action to lift the labor market's low salaries, which it argued had brought negative consequences on society.

According to DGBAS, the average monthly wage in the manufacturing and service industries combined was approximately NT$48,490 in 2015.

However, the Taiwan Labour Front found that 54 of its 93 occupation categories had an average salary lower than NT$48,490.

The worst-paid five were, in order: "cram schools and other educational services," "hair styling and beauty services," "other car and bus transportation services," "garbage cleaning," and "building and landscape greenery services."

The average monthly salary for those working in cram schools or other educational services was NT$24,320 — roughly half of the average monthly wage of those working in the manufacturing and service industries.

Also, people working in security and private investigation services worked the most hours last year at 222.2 hours per month, nearly 1.26 times that of the DGBAS' reported average of 175.3 hours per month.

Other jobs with long workhours — of around 1.08 to 1.16 times the national average — were in "public car and bus transportation services," "hair styling and beauty services," "the textile industry," and "plastic goods manufacturing."

'Fruit left unshared'

Sun Yu-lien (孫友聯), secretary-general of the Taiwan Labour Front, said that though the GDP was growing, it was not driving up salary levels.

"The fruits of economic growth have not been shared with the workers," stressed Sun, claiming it was the main reason salary levels and overall working conditions in Taiwan had been decreasing.

Sun said approximately 75 percent of workers make less than the average monthly wage in the manufacturing and service industries, while the other 25 percent were paid above the average level. "(The income distribution) is severely imbalanced," Sun said.

Lee Chien-hung (李健鴻), a professor in Chinese Culture University's (文化大學) Department of Labor Relations, said the security and protective services industry ranked first in the occupations that cause death from overwork.

Also, Lee said the official data largely underestimated the severity of working conditions because it failed to take into account non-traditional forms of work such as outsourced work, telecommunications labor or working-at-home, only taking into account part-time and contract labor.

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