Minimum wage increased by 13 per cent 

The national minimum wage will be increased by roughly 13 per cent as of Emancipation Day, August 1, 2018.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson, during her contribution to the 2018/2019 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.

The increase will see the minimum wage moving from $6,200 to $7,000 per week. It was last increased by the previous Government.

At the same time, the minimum wage for industrial security guards has been increased by 9.6 per cent, also effective August 1, moving from $8,854 per week to $9, 700 per week. This works out at $242.50 per hour.

In the meantime Robinson said a joint select committee of the parliament will be established to examine the issues that have dogged the security sector over the past 30 – 40 years.

And she chastised the Parliamentary Opposition for using the problems facing security guards as a political football.

“The issue of security guards continues to be a current issue and has been making the news pretty often and has been doing so for the past 30 years,” Robinson said.

“I certainly do not expect the Opposition at this stage to use the issue of security guards as a political football for mere political expediency,” she added.

The Labour Minister told the House that she had reviewed the sectoral presentations made by the previous Ministers of Labour and Social Security “and between 2013 and 2015 I did not see anything in relation to security guards.”

She told former minister, Horace Dalley, that she took the liberty to peruse his 2005 presentation and found no such mention.

During his sectoral presentation two weeks ago, Dalley charged that security guards were being treated unfairly by their employers. He said the opposition was prepared to go to court to seek a declaration as to whether security guards are employees deserving of full benefits or private contractors who, among other things, are deprived of union representation.

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