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Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Thursday April 20, 2006 - Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, N.A.

Pay higher minimum wage as a Labour Day gesture

PHILIPSBURG--Labour and Social Affairs Commissioner Louie Laveist has asked employers to start paying workers the proposed 19.1 per cent minimum wage increase to NAf. 7.79 per hour as a Labour Day gesture.

Laveist said that although the Central Government had not yet given the green light to increase the minimum wage, it would be a positive move if employers could start paying the proposed increase to workers at the low end of the income bracket.

“I would ask all employers to give employees an increase or comply with the minimum wage request by the Island Government,” he said during Wednesday’s Executive Council press briefing.

Laveist said he had been asked to give a speech during the Monday, May 1, Labour Day celebrations being organised by the local unions. “I look forward to the day,” he said.
He said Miguel de Weever, who sits on the Labour Summit Joint Committee, would give the Executive Council an update on the progress of talks pertaining to the implementation of the “flexibilisation” of the labour laws and the eradication of the abuse of short-term (six-month) labour contracts, which the committee agreed to discuss.

The social partners and government agreed earlier this year to increase the minimum wage in St. Maarten from NAf. 6.54 per hour to NAf. 7.79 per hour (NAf. 1,100 per month to NAf. 1,350 per month for a 40-hour work week). The parties also agreed that the island’s surtax on wages would be reduced by five per cent, from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

Copyright ©2006 The Daily Herald St. Maarten

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