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Stop politicizing the National Minimum Wage: FCEF

October 28, 2018 6:53 pm

With Fijians preparing to take to the polls on November 14th, some politicians are yet again trying to sway the voters with promises of increasing the National Minimum Wage.

This is not settling well with the private sector who has lashed out at those political parties who are making unsubstantiated promises without a consultative process.

Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation Chair, Sandeep Chauhan is urging politicians to stop politicizing the National Minimum Wage.

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“As election comes in NMW suddenly crops up, however, nobody discusses this with any of the federations during the years. Why talk about it only every four years – why not during the process. We’re here to talk about it and we have been consulting.”

The Federation says they are open to a higher minimum wage, however, it needs to be done in a gradual phase with proper consultation.

“There is a consultative process. There are mechanisms within the system already such as ERAB or the wages council that meets, discusses and decides on these matters. The NMW rate has been politicized – we’ve got $2.68 as a NMW rate for unskilled labor – yet not a lot has been mentioned about unskilled labor.”

Meanwhile, the National Federation Party is advocating a minimum wage rate of $5 per hour, while the Social Democratic Liberal Party and HOPE are fighting for $4 and $10 per hour rate respectively.

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