In the globalized world, low wages are important in developing countries, and that’s why the government-appointed a minimum wage council and took six months to come up with recommendations for a new minimum wage. The council was appointed in May of last year and submitted its report to the Minister of Labor, Francis Fonseca, on Friday December 29.
Cabinet considered the report on Thursday, January 11 and accepted the council’s recommendation that the minimum wage be increased to a uniform three dollars by the year 2010. But it’s going to be phased in for the export agricultural sectors. But the minimum wage for shop assistants and domestic workers will go up by 33% immediately, from $2.25 to $3 an hour. Those working in the manual/export area of agriculture, will see their hourly wage increased in a first phase from $2 to $2.50, and then in a second phase to $3. That second phase must be completed by the year 2010.
The Cabinet decision was only announced Thursday, and so far, there’s been no comment from the trade unions.