NTUCB calls for evidence-based approach to minimum wage increase
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has continued to call for an evidence-based approach to adjust the minimum wage. The Government of Belize has already implemented the five-dollar-an-hour rate, starting January 1 but the trade union umbrella says that when this issue arises again, it has to be more than just a political agenda. Here’s how the President, Luis Luke Martinez put it.
Luke Martinez, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize: “From the onset during that process we had expressed to the task force, to the government through the taskforce that this exercise is not a walk in the park and we’ve said it publicly that it shouldn’t be something that is used for political gain. Of course we want better wages for our workers but remember there are guidelines and there are specific guidelines that you need to follow to carry out such a process and one of the guidelines that are available to us which was used as a guidance would have been the International Labor Organization Minimum Wage guidelines which speak about an evidence based approach.”
Martinez also called for a formula, which not only reflects the day-to-day realities of Belizeans but one that is based on reason and common sense.
Luke Martinez, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize: “In my view I believe the consultants could have done a better job if we were to take our time and conduct the necessary evidence based research and present our findings. Remember now an important thing that we’re pushing for in that exercise was a formula. Both the National Trade Union Congress and the Chamber. From the National Trade Union Congress side we were pushing for a formula to ensure that in the future we don’t have politicians who would use a minimum wage increase for political mileage right ? So the formula would have had – in fact a formula was submitted and the formula had indicators that would see increase yearly and the National Trade Union Congress is still calling for the minimum wage council to convene.”