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Minimum wage

Selwa Nandan, Lautoka
Monday, October 30, 2017

BROTHER Richard, (FT 26/10) nobody is disputing the fact that the minimum wage only applies to unskilled workers.

Its intent and purpose is crystal clear.

But what should be the appropriate rate?

That is the bone of contention here.

We need to be more transparent as to how it was determined and what formula was used in arriving at $2.68 per hour.

Does it commensurate with the rising cost of living?

Is it adequate for their survival?

In my view, most of the unskilled labourers perform physical work which are risky to their health and can be strenuous because of long hours of work.

Yet they punch well above their weight.

That they are unskilled should not be the sole reason for them to be paid less than the others.

Neither should the postulation that any increase in the rate would render our products uncompetitive in the export market.

That is absolutely baseless.

I believe most of these manual tasks do not require any skills.

Like in the skilled category, the unskilled workers also perform different types of work and it is not fair for them to be placed in the same basket.

I am at a loss to understand why we are unable to see things from that perspective.

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