Oct 19, 2013 News
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) is concerned about what it firmly believes is non compliance by employers, more specifically within the private sector, to adjust their minimum wages to reflect the National Minimum Wage Order that was recently implemented.
As a result, the labour body says it will be forwarding complaints to the Ministry of Labour and expects “swift prosecution of these rabid violators.”
“As Guyana’s majority labour movement organization, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) is extremely upset and outraged over the verifiable fact that too many employers are still refusing to pay their employees the new National Minimum Wage.” The Trade Union body said.
FITUG said that it “was on record before and earlier in this year advocating the implementation of a National Minimum Wage. Thankfully this was finally implemented by the Ministry of Labour with effect from July 01, 2013. Made under Section 8 of the Labour Act, Chapter 98:01, this order is citied as the National Minimum Wage Order 2013.”
FITUG posited that to it’s “consternation and grave disappointment, many reports and complaints are being received indicating non-compliance with the law by many employers, most of them within the Private Sector.
FITUG notes that the Minimum Wage is applicable to all workers of Guyana with the Schedule to the order listing more than sixty (60) categories of workers but not limited to those only.”
Making reference to the Order, FITUG highlighted three clauses deemed noteworthy by them:
“Subject to this Order, the minimum rate of wage payable to every person employed in Guyana shall be not less than two hundred and two dollars ($202) per hour or one thousand six hundred and sixteen dollars per a day ($1,616), or eight thousand and eighty dollars ($8,080) per week or thirty five thousand dollars ($35,000) per month as the case may be.”
“Where at the commencement of this Order a worker is in receipt of a wage at a rate that is higher than that prescribed in this Order, the employer shall continue to pay to that worker wages at such higher rate and not to reduce the rate on account of this Order.”
“The normal work week shall be forty (40) hours and shall not exceed five (5) days per week. Any hours of work beyond the normal hours shall at a minimum be paid at the rates set out in the Labour (Conditions of Employment of Certain Workers) Act No. 18 of 1978, the factories Act, Cap 95:02, or any other law or any collective bargaining agreement in force where workers are represented by a Trade Union.”
FITUG underscored that it “strongly condemns this non-compliance as a violation of workers’ rights. Refusal to pay the many low-income workers even the new minimum wage is capitalistic and virulently anti-working-class.’
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