Labour Consultant, Austin Gammey, has called for a paradigm shift in the determination of the national daily minimum wage.
According to him, the use of inflation figures to determine how high the minimum daily wage is hiked is counterproductive and fails to address the problem of low salaries for workers.
He suggested that the tax threshold be used instead for such negotiations.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said, “Now determining a national daily minimum wage, we have to have a paradigm shift and the base pay as well. Because we cannot be using inflation if it’s 70 we go 70, if it’s 100 we go 100 it cannot work so. If you go that route, this country will be turned upside down in five minutes. I guarantee you.
“What you can do is to take advantage of what the labor law says. That is the best. Maybe they are not fully immersed with it. I’m prepared that we work together. But let me say that in determining these things, we have several ways of doing this including the tax thresholds. So it is for organized labor to ensure that a certain amount that people earn will not attract any form of tax at all. The barest minimum as it stands now is not enough.”
According to him, by doing away with the minimum daily wage-pegged-to-inflation-figures in favour of the tax threshold system, organized labour will be able to demand for what is appropriate.
“We must now go into the mystery of what goes into these things, unravel and unearth it and be able to deal with it properly, but I don’t think that we should be saying 50 to 50, 20 to 20. We must demand what is appropriate,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gammey has urged organised labour to support government manage the current economic downturn.
“And we must be very open to helping government, I maintain we must be very open to helping government to enable them to manage the situation and get us out from this situation. Because this is a very turbulent situation we find ourselves in already we are simply in IMF on a complete stretcher,” he said.