Speaking during the question session of the PAC meeting, Ghrio asked the question of minimum wage rate that remains the same for a very long time, considering the rapid inflation rate in the country that suffocates survival of most families whom their wage rate fall within the minimum category.
Stressing his concern in the meeting, Ghiro asked the question of any attempts so far to raise the minimum wage rate of low income earners in the country, and in addition to his question he asked whether any national wage policy existed to monitor private companies’ policies.
Ghiro further stated that government must have a strong mechanism in place to safe guard conditions of labour.
In respond to Ghiro’s question Commissioner of Labour (COL) Josiah Manehia said, that absence of national policy regarding minimum wage rate is a problem, therefore they rely on the provision from the Labour Act to deal with minimum wage rate.
“At this time the minimum wage rate ranges from $4.00 per hour which is very low, but we agree to increase it,” Mr Manehia stated.
In addition to Ghiro’s question he asked if there are some officers from the labour division going out to the provinces and doing investigation on conditions of workers and their salaries.
Manehia respond by saying that a number of visits to the provinces for assessing conditions of people working in logging and other sectors were done, but they also have difficulty in dealing with those employees of logging since operation of logging shift from one location to another within a short period of time, thus not easy for them to settle down in their work to formalise work and conditions of labours.
The COL added that they will continue to look on conditions of workmen in camps and engage the law enforcement agencies to play their part in ensuring that investors complies with the relevant laws of this country to safeguard its citizens.
The MP for Central Makira added that they want to see all government Ministries working together in areas that overlapped their roles to address conditions of work men and women in the country. He further stated that visits to work places around town and the provinces must involved all relevant authorities that has a role to play in protecting the rights of people in the work places, whether its rights for their safety, entitlements or other privileges we must recognises these.
By AATAI JOHN