“The UPP’s false promise to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour is nothing short of grandstanding because the overwhelming majority of public sector workers already earn more than $10 an hour.”
Was the response from the Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) E. P. Chet Greene following a United Progressive Party announcement on the weekend that it will increase the national minimum wage if elected to office.
Greene pointed out just hours after the statement that, “…public service workers already earn more than $10 an hour, the UPP promise is just an effort to deceive the electorate”.
“The UPP is promising less than public servants enjoy”, Greene stressed.
The Chairman Greene also emphasised that the ABLP government, just weeks ago, in consultation with the private sector and unions, agreed to increase the minimum wage for all workers to $9.00.
Except for a small number of unskilled workers in the private sector, Greene made it clear that most private sector employees also already earn $10 or more per hour.
“Therefore, even for the private sector employees, the promise to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour is just trickery and of no real benefit to the majority of workers.
“The ABLP government recently decided to increase the legal minimum wage from $8.20 to $9.00, purely to benefit unskilled persons. The government did so, in consultation with the private sector, because if private persons did not agree, they would dismiss workers so as to stay within the sum of money they could afford and, they would pass on the difference to the consumers,” said Greene.
He continued that the emptiness and “trickery” of the UPP’s promise is evident as their promise is not supported by the careful, wide-reaching consultations undertaken by the ABLP.
Photo of Chet Greene