Friday, October 28, 2011

Union boss emphasises on minimum wage rates

Source: The National - Friday, October 28th 2011

PUBLIC Employees Association president Michael Malabag says the government should ensure private companies comply with the minimum wages rates.
Malabag, who was elected unopposed for a fourth term as president, said it was one of his priorities.
Malabag, who is also president of the Trade Union Congress, said many security officers, supermarket cashiers and house maids were being paid rates below the minimum wage requirements.
“The national government must institute an investigation into these companies, many of which are not paying the minimum wage as approved by government two years ago.”
He said the companies must be kicked out of the country if they failed to pay the minimum wage rates.
He threatened class action against the companies if nothing was done to improve the wages of workers.
Although the Electoral Commission’s returning officer has yet to make a declaration, the president’s post was not contested, with Malabag retaining the top public service union post.
“My other priority is to ensure that our fight for the K250 housing allowance bears fruit and public servants can benefit from it instead of the lousy K7.50 a fortnight housing allowance.”
He said the matter was now before Public Service Conciliation and Arbitration Tribunal, which would convene in two weeks to address the issue.
Malabag said the other outstanding issue was the taxation component on retirement benefits of public servants, which he wanted to reduce from 35% to around 15%.
He said the association had been pushing good governance issues and was supporting the government’s public sector development programme to promote good governance in the public service.
He welcomed on board new general-secretary Ronald Silovo, who he said, had vast experience in industrial relations issues and would be working to drive major issues affecting the public service.

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