Hint of $3 to $3.10 minimum wage

Professor of Economics and minimum wage Consultant Dr Partha Gangopadhyay while holding a public consultation for members of the community in Nadi. Picture: SUPPLIED

A CONSULTANT engaged by Government to determine a national minimum wage for unskilled and sectoral workers has hinted at a $3 or $3.10 an hour figure as a minimum wage for employees who do not possess any certified skill.

Dr Partha Gangopadhyay, an economics professor at the Western Sydney University, said employers had embraced his recommendation for a $3.10 per hour minimum wage for unskilled workers.

However, Dr Gangopadhyay expressed concern at the decision of trade unions not to engage in the consultation.

“As far as I understand, Government was supporting that, the unions said they don’t want $3, its $4 or not and they boycotted the process,” he said.

“They stopped communicating with me.

“I have been trying to communicate with them when I came here to show them what exactly is poverty because they have no idea.

“Come and share a lunch with a minimum wage household family and see how much they are suffering.

“And then let us possibly try to go to $3.10 an hour and go step by step to what they want.

“Now it seems they don’t want to be party to it and, as an outsider, I am very disappointed.

“I am still ready to speak to them at any time because 100,000 families are suffering and we need to act fast.”

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