Cabinet to receive new minimum-wage proposals in a few weeks; worker says delay is a wait-and-see tactic for elections

More than six months after Labour Minister Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin convened a meeting of the National Minimum Wage Committee, he is assuring his colleagues that recommendations will be submitted “in a few short weeks.”

According to this week’s Cabinet Notes, the Committee followed its mandate to consult with stakeholders ahead of sharing its report with the Executive.

“When the Cabinet receives the Report and Recommendation, the Cabinet will make a decision before taking the matter to the Parliament for it to become law,” the Notes say.

However, the Executive says it expects that, by January 1, 2023, “a new minimum wage will take effect.”

This news has been greeted with some cynicism, especially by workers in certain sectors, such as the security industry. One guard, a female immigrant, is asking why – after so many months – the decision on the increase is still delayed.

“I believe they already make up their mind. They done know already what they giving us,” she tells REAL News. “Is one set ah promises to see how we going to vote; so we not getting anything before they win the next election,” she says.

“Look ah how they doing Jolly Beach!” she adds as a parting shot.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has, indeed, made a number of promises to workers – all of which have a delivery date of “by the end of the year.”

This has caused many persons to believe that the General Elections will be called in mid-December, which would allow the Administration to determine which promises it can afford not to keep.