Bala says over 96% workers earn over $2.68/hour while Anthony believes the wage rate is low

Bala says over 96% workers earn over $2.68/hour while Anthony believes the wage rate is low

By Dhanjay Deo
Thursday 20/02/2020

Minister for Employment, Parveen Bala says a comprehensive review of the 2017 national minimum wage rate has revealed that over 96 percent of the Fijian workers currently earn above the minimum wage rate of $2.68 while the Fiji Trades Union Congress National Secretary, Felix Anthony says the minimum wage rate is set at an unrealistic low level.

While delivering his ministerial statement in parliament today, Bala says 65 percent of the workers in the informal sector are earning above $2.90 an hour and about 31 percent of the workers are already earning a wage rate of $4 an hour in Fiji.

Bala says as part of the national minimum wage rate review process, a consultant will be presenting the 2019 national minimum wage rate review report next month after which it will be taken through their tripartite mechanism, the Employment Relations Advisory Board and then to the Cabinet.

Bala says a national minimum wage rate must ensure that vulnerable employees are not exploited to provide decent wages and that set minimum wages do not discourage productivity and competition for employers.  

He says this is the balancing act at the heart of the process of fixing and applying a just minimum wage for all parties and this is what the opposition parties do not bring into their calculations when it comes to the minimum wage.  

Meanwhile, Fiji Trades Union Congress National Secretary, Felix Anthony says Bala should give some statistics on the poverty line and how many workers live below the poverty line.

The FijiFirst government had set a national minimum wage rate of $2 an hour which came into force in March, 2014 and according to Bala, this benefited an estimated 100,000 Fijian workers who prior to the introduction of the national minimum wage rate were paid between 70 cents to $1 an hour.

Bala says this was reviewed and a national minimum wage rate of  $2.32 came into force from July 2015.

The national minimum wage rate was again reviewed in 2017 and was increased to $2.68 in September 2017.


Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Fijiana Drua historic win in Super W
The historic Super W win by the Rooster Chicken sponsored Fijiana Drua sets the platform for the Fijiana 15s side as they will play in the Womenโ€™s ...
32 days ago

Revised 2021-2022 National Budget passed in parliament
VAT to be zero rated for 21 items from 1st April 2022 and current 20 cents fuel tax to be removed - AG
64 days ago

Revised Budget consultations
Budget consultations held by the Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.  Mon 28th Feb Tue 08th Mar Wed ...
74 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
London 7s: Vakurunabili scores two tries as Fiji beats England 36-10 to book cup semi final spot with New Zealand
Josua Vakurunabili was too strong for the England defence as he scored two tries to help the Fiji Airways Menโ€™s national 7s team beat England 36-10 ...
3 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
China's Minister for Foreign Affairs meets PIFโ€™s Secretary General Henry Puna
The State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Peopleโ€™s Republic of China Wang Yi met with the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands ...
6 hours ago

FJFW gives opportunity to musicians and dancers to woo audience during show
Rako Pasefika was the crowd favourite during the finale of the 15th Fiji Fashion Week show as more than 20 singers and dancers got the opportunity to ...
7 hours ago

Two men armed with cane knives rob shop in Savusavu
The search is underway for two men who stormed a neighbourhood shop at Buca Settlement near the Savusavu Airport on Thursday night. Those men were ...
7 hours ago

Traditional leaders of Ovalau launch an island-scale plan to manage resources sustainably
All 25 villages of Ovalau including Levuka Town have committed to managing their terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems ...
12 hours ago

1,200 deaths due to tobacco use each year in Fiji
Each year, Fiji records more than 1,200 deaths due to tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. That's according to Assistant Minister for ...
13 hours ago

TOP