The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) is taking issue with the recommendation from George Overton, spokesperson for Jamaica Society for Industrial Security, that minimum wage for industrial security guards not be increased this year.
Overton had made the recommendation to the National Minimum Wage Advisory Commission (NMW AC) on Thursday that any increase in the minimum rates would affect the viability of the industry.
In a release, BITU president Kavan Gayle said it was inhumane to suggest that these workers, a large number of which are women who head households including children, should continue to be paid rates implemented in February 2011, despite the increases in the cost of living since then, and the projection for inflation of between 10% and 12% this year, primarily due to the tax measures introduced by the Government in the 2012-13 budget and the GCT added to the prices of basic food items.
"It is hard to imagine that companies which hire this group of working poor should be so heartless as to seek to deny them even the minor improvements being suggested at the minimum wage consultations, in light of the projections for cost of living increases as high as 12 per cent this year," Gayle said.
He also described as arrogant the fact that the security companies could have made this recommendation to the NMW AC, without even providing information on their financial health.
Gayle noted that the trade unions would not support a decision by the commission not to increase the payment provisions for the security guards.