The Tourism Employees Association of the Maldives (TEAM) has urged the government to implement a minimum wage, to address a growing gap between the rich and poor.
“TEAM believes that the most important thing to do in order to change the current situation of all persons working in the tourism industry is to implement a minimum wage,’’ said the organisation.
‘’A minimum wage is also important to avoid the potential bankruptcy of small and medium businesses and to eliminate the differentiation between the rich and poor.’’
TEAM urged the government to conduct a fair survey and to determine an adequate minimum wages, “instead of only listening to few influential big businessmen.’’
TEAM claimed the minimum wage for those working in the tourism sector should be at least Rf 5000 (US$325) per month.
Vice President of TEAM Maurrof Zakir said that Rf5000 for resort workers was determined after taking into considering the GDP of the country, salaries of civil servants and the amount of money tourism resorts make per month.
‘’Usually a tourism resort makes US$2-3 million every month,’’ he said. “But only US$200, 000 at the most is the amount spent on wages. Our estimates do not show that the tourist resorts will suffer any loss by paying their staff a minimum wage of Rf 5000 per month.’’
He also recommended the government set the minimum wage differently for each sectors.
In last week’s radio address, President Mohamed Nasheed promised that the government would set a minimum wage this year to ensure a decent living.
In January this year, a bill governing the minimum wage of people employed in the Maldives was sent to parliament by MDP Parliamentary Group Leader ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik.
“It is important for everyone working in the Maldives to be certain of the minimum wage that can be given to them – that is a right of every citizen. That’s why this bill is being drafted,” Moosa said.
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.