NTUCB Pres says that minimum wage formula should have been in place years ago

NTUCB Pres says that minimum wage formula should have been in place years ago

Years ago: that’s how long since the NTCUB says a minimum wage formula should have been implemented. President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, Luis Luke Martinez was asked for his views on the process of consultations of the Government’s planned implementation of the five-dollar minimum wage. Given that the costs of basic goods and services are steadily increasing, the wage rate, Martinez argues, should have already been at seven dollars per hour. Here’s how Martinez explained it today. 

Luke Martinez, President, NTUCB: “Where does this put the workers ? Because as the workers’ representative we need to ask this question where does it put the worker whereby if you move from $3.30 to $5.00, and we’ve had this discussion before that would be over a 50% increase right ? You create a 50% increase and you offset some of the private sector businesses and they decide that look the action that we’re going to take is two things you either pass on the increase to the consumer or you send home workers and you bring it right back to inflation. How you could make this transition ? How can you make this transition without seeing how you could address what will be the reality ? Now you want to go back to when the government said that they were going to have this increase the press release. In the press release they said it is going to be a gradual increase, fine. The National Trade Union Congress we said that look twelve years ago when they had this conversation we were pushing for a $7 increase and we were also pushing for a formula. If the government then had worked a formula then we wouldn’t have been in this position whereby the government decide that they’re going to push for an increase and it’s going to be regardless of the recommendations from the minimum wage. If they had worked a formula from then then we would have past the $5 we we’d been at the $7 climbing over the $7 that was being suggested by the unions at that time.”

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