19 Mar 2007

PNG trade union lobbying again for 100 percent wage increase

7:31 pm on 19 March 2007

The Papua New Guinea Trade Union Congress says the government's failure to raise the minimum wage is creating problems that will only get worse.

The TUC is lobbying the government and the PNG employers federation for a 100 percent increase in the minimum wage to 150 kina or 52-US dollars a fortnight.

The TUC's general-secretary, John Paska, says the minimum wage threshold is one of the lowest in the world and there have been no significant increases in almost 20 years.

He says this results in a growing number of people living below the poverty line.

"People cannot meet their basic needs so therefore they have to look for extraordinary measures to make ends meet. So kids are pulled out of school, women enter into prostitution, there's housing problems, robbery and all sorts of crime and that brings about tragic consequences not only for families but society overall and one of the ways to deal with that is to improve their wages."

John Paska says despite numerous submissions over five years, the government has failed to establish a Minimum Wages board to review wages.