Drastic increase of NMW will result in job loses: Towler
October 23, 2018 4:50 am
“Fijian families cannot survive with sudden wage increases and 7, 000 jobs will be lost in our industry overnight.”
This is the sentiment of Textile Clothing & Footwear Council president, Michael Towler in response to various political parties calling for the national minimum wage to suddenly increase to $4 and $5 per hour and even up to $10 per hour.
Towler says over the last three years they have already experienced a minimum wage increase of 34% – an increase that has been manageable alongside the country’s overall economic growth.
He says an immediate increase to $5 equates to a further increase of 87% which is an ill-considered and chaotic increase that when being done suddenly and not progressively will prove unsustainable for the industry.
Towler adds they employ staff at varying wage level and a sudden increase will send a price shock throughout the industry, putting staff at all levels, out of their jobs.
He says they support paying their workers a fair and reasonable wage and the council is committed to ensuring that all their members are fully compliant with the current labour wage rates and regulations.
Towler mentions the industry has already declined due to rising competition, but they are working hard to strike a delicate balance and keep pace knowing it will be both an economic and social disaster for Fiji should the industry collapse.
The current minimum wage is $2.68 per hour.