As Saint Lucia’s Minimum Wage Commission reports ‘significant progress’ in arriving at a national minimum wage for workers, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has explained that an increase would benefit everyone.
“When there is an increase in wages everybody benefits. The people who get these wages because most likely when the wages are increased for people at the lower incomes, they spend more,” Pierre told reporters.
In addition, he said their quality of life would improve.
“We hope that we can get a joint agreement – everyone can agree so we can have a wage that will not be a disincentive to investment but will improve the quality of life of the people of Saint Lucia and lead to wealth creation,” Pierre stated.
He spoke of the need to start at the basics and provide people with a liveable wage.
The Chairperson of the Minimum Wage Commission, veteran trade unionist Lawrence Poyotte recently disclosed that the body has been meeting since September 2022, on an average of twice a month.
He confirmed that the Commission was using a scientific method to arrive at the proposed minimum wage.
“We want to have a minimum liveable wage,” Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre told reporters on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting Monday.
“The legislation speaks to a minimum wage but we think that we must speak about a minimum liveable wage,” Pierre explained.
He said he understood that the Commission is reviewing its report, which will go before Cabinet ‘very shortly’ for a decision.
“We are involving all stakeholders. It’s not a matter of the government only or the unions. Everybody is involved in that discussion,” the Prime Minister told reporters.
Headline photo: Stock image.
Good gesture – a great start. However, I usually get scared when there is an increase in minimum wage or a new minimum wage. At the end of the day the price of every thing will increase as well. The merchants will not be ones paying for this. The cost will be added to the consumers and they will have to pay for the increase of commodities. Do not expect things will be cheaper at the stores when that minimum wage is increased. If you think things are currently hard, wait until the minimum wage is implemented.
Action is required 4k hope.
Bravo was about time but beware foods to increase too oh my
That is a move in the right direction. There are businesses that are doing well yet still pay the workers 2 to 5 EC dollars an hour take for example Sandals and Bay gardens and security companies . They started with 1 and know have 3 security companies have young boys and girls working in inhumane conditions risking their lives for 3 EC dollars an hour . We also need a new union to represent the working poor …
Trust me it won’t be more than $5,00 an hour. I’ve already heard from PBL news that the commission is strongly considering $40.00 as an 8 hour day as the livable wage.
The quality of St. Lucia’s workforce is nothing to be proud of. Workers are generally lazy, tardy and non-productive. If there is a minimum wage, and that wage is beyond what business owners are prepared to pay, then businesses will hesitate to increase their complement of staff, and unemployment will remain a serious problem in St. Lucia. Minimum wage is a political objective not an economic one, and wages are the biggest obstacle to profit.
slavery was never abolished some employers still treat their workers as slaves .
Is that minimum wage for the private sector? I don’t think the public sector deserve any such thing as they are already above any minimum wage for their non-productive performance. Every government department you enter the employees are either on a go-slow, not at work, at lunch for more hours than they actually work, left early for a funeral, having brunch at any time during the work day and the list can go on. Secondary school teachers are seen in their gardens, at their business place, at a watering hole, going to some side chick house all during the school day. Sometimes I wonder if that’s not the real root of the crime situation in St Lucia.