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Trade Unions Want $4 Minimum Wage

FTUC comes in numbers to Lautoka consultation   The Fiji Trades Union Congress yesterday made a strong showing at the Minimum Wage Consultation in Lautoka, calling for a minimum of
16 May 2017 13:04
Trade Unions Want $4 Minimum Wage
Members of FTUC with Professor Partha Gangopadhyny at the Minimum Wage Consultation in Lautoka on May 15, 2017. Photo: CHARLES CHAMBERS.

FTUC comes in numbers to Lautoka consultation

 

The Fiji Trades Union Congress yesterday made a strong showing at the Minimum Wage Consultation in Lautoka, calling for a minimum of $4 an hour.

Peni Vaikau and Atelini Gobale, both members of the National Union of Workers and FTUC, said the present rate of $2.32 was unrealistic.

About 15 members of FTUC turned up at the consultation, held at the Tanoa Waterfront in Lautoka and presented their submissions to the Permanent Secretary for Employment, Salaseini Daunabuna.

Rohit Karan Singh, president of the Fiji Local Government Officers Association, said the present minimum wage was far below the poverty line.

Earlier consultation consultant and Professor of the University of the South Pacific, Partha Gangopadhyny, had presented a lengthy overlook at the workings of minimum wages and proposed increase in the different sectors.

“A worker who works 44 hours a week over six days earns an average of $95.00” Mr Singh said.

“The basic items cost is escalating and people can’t afford to fulfil their obligations,” he said.

“If a person does shopping for this much, he or she has to leave behind the electricity, water and phone bills.”

Mr Singh said normal basic food items bought, excluding meat and other expenses more than what the person earns.

He said the gross per annum was $4800, less than allowances received by Members of Parliament, CEOs and Directors.

“According to the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation, if a household income was less than $209.24 per week, they are considered living below the poverty line.”

“Twenty eight percent of Fiji’s population live below the poverty line while 22,826 families are recipient of the Poverty Benefit Scheme under the Department of Social Welfare.”

Ms Daunabuna said all submissions would be considered.

 

Edited by: Selita Bolanavanua

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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