News Report: No Minimum Wage Increase Without NTC Decision, Says Commerce Director

Written by Youri Kemp, Tribune Business Reporter - Friday August 27th, 2021

A Chamber of Commerce director said no increase to the minimum wage should happen unless it comes through the National Tripartite Council (NTC).

Peter Goudie, who heads the Chamber’s labour committee, told Tribune Business the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has been trying for years to get $40 added on to the national minimum wage, bringing it up from $210 to $250, but no such move should be done unless it is decided by the NTC, which he said the NTC will be reviewing the matter shortly as it is on the agenda after the board’s recent reappointment.

Mr. Goudie was responding to remarks made by PLP leader Philip Davis at a signing ceremony with a number of union leaders, where Mr Davis agreed an increase in the minimum wage would be forthcoming from a PLP government along with an examination of going above the requested $250 and making it closer to a “liveable wage.”

Mr. Goudie added: “The NTC hasn’t had a chance to look at raising the minimum wage yet, but we will do that with proper research and not because somebody wants something at a certain number.

“The last time we raised the minimum wage we went through a thorough procedure where we used data from the department of statistics, we looked at the cost of living increase, we looked at all types of things and that is how we did the last one.”

Mr. Davis also said: “We are not satisfied that $250 may be a liveable wage. Where we are now, people are living pay cheque to pay cheque and still carrying overdraft and still owing while they are doing so. We