PNG Trade Union approves of new minimum wage rates

PNGTUC General Secretary, John Paska
The Papua New Guinea Trade Union Congress (PNGTUC) has given its approval on the new national minimum wage rate set by the Minimum Wages Board.

PNGTUC General Secretary, John Paska, said it was fair and would have minimal impact on the national budget as the government does not employ minimum wage earners.

He also added that the minimum wage set in 1992 was heavily influenced by a “powerful employer lobby instigated by the World Bank” who later circumvented the determination in 2000, restoring the minimum rate to a respectable K120 per fortnight.

According to Paska, there are a handful of employer lobbyist who are dangerous to the country and welfare of the workers. He said their claims are apparently made to protect profit margins at the expense of stimulating robust domestic demand.

He said PNGTUC calculations based on data from the National Statistical Office (NSO) indicated that over K8 billion that should have gone to wages was gobbled up by profits over this period of time. However, instead of investing it onshore, much of those monies have been siphoned offshore.

Paska said this stifled domestic demand and caused needless suffering on workers and their families.

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