Fiji Union Leader Slams Minimum Wage Increases

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Daniel Urai says government pressured to keep rates down

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 1, 2012) – The President of the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) says he is extremely disappointed with new wage increases announced by the interim government.

The interim Labour Minister, Jone Usumate, yesterday announced an increase in minimum wage rates for certain industries of between 7.9 and 10.4 percent.

The FTUC President, Daniel Urai, says the interim government has bowed to pressure from employers to keep wage rates down.

He says the increases are insignificant and won’t do anything to lower poverty in Fiji.

"When you talk about a ten percent increase for somebody who’s earning less than two dollars an hour, it’s hardly an increase, and then when you narrow it down to an individuals rate of 7.9 percent means a one dollar and 84 cent increase to for that worker. That’s hardly sufficient to lift workers out the poverty they currently are experiencing."

Daniel Urai says the Union wants an across the board minimum pay of one hundred U.S. dollars a week to lift workers out of poverty.

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