Friday, 24 July 2009

A business take on minimum wages

“A fair minimum wage is a sound investment in the future of our communities and our nation.”


“Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that employees are paid a fair minimum wage.”

Or even:

“Low minimum wages do NOT help small business.”

Statements by Irish trade union leaders?

No. Actually, these quotes are from business leaders cited in press releases issued by the ‘Business for a Minimum Wage’ project in the United States. The project is run by ‘Business for a Shared Prosperity’, which describes itself as “a network of forward-thinking business owners, executives and investors committed to building enduring economic progress on a strong foundation of opportunity, equity and innovation.”

Compare and contrast with this from Patricia Callan of the Small Firms Association, calling for an immediate €1 cut in the minimum wage last July:

“Establishing a minimum level of pay by dictat rather than market forces is proving to be a negative employment strategy.”

Meanwhile, writing in today's Irish Times, Paul Sweeney notes that:

"Wage cuts will lead to deflation and exacerbate the crisis. Further, wages are but a small part of competitiveness."
You can read the full article here.


Brian Woods said...

'Business-as-usual bullsh**' Do these idiots not realize that the wretched consumers have to consume or this economy will fall off a precipice. Actually, they do not! Thick, ignorant and arrogant.

If your wages/salary are diminished - so is your consumption - necessaries excepted (for the moment anyhow).

Abuse these gobshites with the contempt they deserve. What they are advocating is tantamount to financial destitution for a great many of our citizens.

There is no easy exit from this financial/economic mess. It was 'business-as-usual' which got us here - and the same bullsh*** is going to extricate us!!! God help us.

Brian P

T G MacAmhloaibh said...

I've often thought the minimum wage was damaging to the worker. It sets a ceiling level as much as a floor level on wages in broad categories of employment, but specifically in the service sector. If mum and da boss were to set their wages according to so-called 'market' forces, say at €5 per hour, how many employees would they be albe to hire who can afford to live on this income level in our high cost society? Very few.

The minimum wage has been created and maintained to keep as many workers quiet as possible and to minimum status quo with regard to wages. Workers should be organised for collective pay bargaining and not hindered by artificial wage constraints mandated by a pro-business government sector.