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May 19, 2019

A decent minimum wage must be a living wage

Labour relations have gone anomalous in some businesses in Myanmar, with some potential for further stalling the economic engine of the country. Labour disputes arising from a demand of higher minimum wage have become the talk of the day.
Most employers are found to be unwilling to raise minimum wage. Strange as it may seem, they are all running large companies rather than small businesses. They might consider that the higher minimum wages, the lower their profits. On the contrary, a great deal of research has suggested that businesses that offer higher wages are flourishing than expected. Clearly, a majority of low-wage workers are employed in the country’s largest and most profitable companies.
It seems that there is no possible harmful impact of boosting pay in the low-wage jobs. Instead, the pay rise will keep employees out of poverty to some extent and encourage consumer spending crucial for economic growth. The more money in the hands of consumers, the higher the demand for goods and services.
These days, behind low-wage earners are families who have to eke out their living, even to make both ends meet. They have no alternative but to spend that money immediately on their basic requirements of life, such as expenses of housing, food, clothing, health, transportation and education.
In the main, a minimum wage must be a living wage which is adequate enough to enjoy a decent standard of living. Nowhere in the world should life be a battle for survival.

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