9 Feb 2011

Fiji minimum wage advocate suspicious of single wage council

9:59 am on 9 February 2011

An advocate of a national minimum wage in Fiji is suspicious of plans to form a single wage council.

The Labour Ministry is planning to phase out the ten existing wage councils and to set a national minimum wage.

The Fiji Wages Council Chairman, Father Kevin Barr says he is suspicious of how the idea of a single wage council was formed.

"If we have a national minimum wage, it must be pegged against the basic current needs poverty line, which is currently about 176 dollars a week. The wages council covers 60 percent of the workers in Fiji and all of them are working below the poverty line. This idea that there will be a just one wages council has just emerged very, very recently and there's been no proper discussion about it."

Father Kevin Barr says it would be most unacceptable if a national minimum wage is set below the poverty line as he fears this would not be in the interests of social justice.