ONE group is welcoming with open arms the increase in the minimum wage of $2.50 per hour, which puts it now at $17.50. Estate Police Association president Deryck Richardson said this now puts people in a position to afford a better standard of living.
Richardson said while they would have wanted something more substantial, they are willing to work with this for the while. He admitted they did not present a proposal to the minister to consider but will do so next time.
“We are mindful of what is transpiring in the economy , but we are propagating a living wage rather than a minimum wage. There are also other things that are benefiting our population, such as affordable housing.
“A considerable portion of our workforce are women and a significant amount are single-parents. This measure coupled with the wage increase puts them in a position to own a home.” There are however challenges that come with this announcement for the association.Richardson explained that getting private security firms to comply with the increase will pose some challenges.
“Companies will now lament the transfers of operational cost.” At this time he said, they are faced with getting such companies to pay overtime and dues in relation to the the minimum wage order. For fear of discrimination and victimisation, employees do not report such negligence.
“Because the salary is so small, many choose to remain quiet in order to get hours to make a decent salary to take home. This is a business where the more hours you make the more more you get.”
He said employers are aware of this and in some cases put employees with grievances in circumstances where their work hours are cut. “We are trying to resolve this, but are having a hard time in curbing this. It is form of abuse and slavery in the industry.”