THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am writing in response to Shanica Blair's letter published December 23, 2013 titled 'Minimum wage increase an insult'. First, I must commend her for the passion she feels for the poorest of our country and how eager she is to see them improve themselves by earning more. I found your letter quite interesting.
Although I believe that the minimum-wage increase should be greater than $600, there are other issues that one must examine before a reasonable conclusion can be drawn.
A large majority of those who earn minimum wage are neither educated enough to be employed in a higher paying job or produce enough while on the job to earn their employer as much as the present minimum wage. Many of them do not have the capacity to be trained, or are not interested in being trained, so they cannot even be considered for promotion.
I implore you. Ms Blair to conduct an experiment: place an advertisement for a position and conduct an interview for a week to test the persons seeking employment. I am sure you will come to a different conclusion.
Businesses exist to make profit for their owners and if they don't, their existence will not be for long. You say cut staff and pay more; if this is done, what it means is that someone who is now employed won't be anymore. It also means that the one earning more may not earn twice as much, but will definitely be doing twice as much work if not more.
My problem is the non-enforcement of the minimum-wage law; many employers still continue to employ and pay below minimum wage. I believe something needs to be done about this. The relevant authorities must ensure that employers pay the wage that they are supposed to pay to those they employ.