World Day for Decent Work & $4 National Minimum Wage Campaign
On 7th October of every year since 2008 the International Trades Union Congress has been organising the World Day for Decent Work (“WDDW”). It is a day for mobilisation for all trade unions across the globe, from Fiji in the east to Hawaii in the west. Every year there are hundreds of activities in hundred countries, carried out by millions of people around the globe and on 8th October 2016 the Fiji Trades Union Congress organised the WDDW simultaneously with their $4 National Minimum Wage Campaign with the theme “End Corporate Greed & Decent Work Means Decent Pay”. The activities were carried out by the affiliated union members across the country from the old capital of Levuka to the capital city of Suva. Members of the affiliated unions took to the street not only to seek support from the public on the FTUC petition to the government on the $4 National Minimum Wage campaign but also to enlighten the public on worker’s rights, decent work and decent pay.
The day’s activity included setting up information centers at the seven various locations (Suva, Lautoka, Nadi, Nausori, Labasa and Levuka) with the distribution of flyers, posters, book marks and brochure to members of the public. The members of the public were also informed and explained on the meaning of decent work which involves favourable conditions for work that is productive and delivers a justifiable wage, it also means security in the workplace and social protection for families and equal opportunity and treatment for all women and men.
As stressed in our press release of 8th October the current minimum wage of $2.32 must be reviewed to at least $4 an hour. The Current Minimum Wage is grossly insufficient and well below the poverty line. This actually condemns workers to extreme poverty and does nothing to uplift human dignity. Workers merely want an increase of $13.44 a day and this was expressed in the FTUC campaign which was supported by the International Labour Organisation. The campaign which began at 9am and ended at 1pm saw volunteers and union members alike joined hands in expressing the need to raise the national minimum wage by wearing a $4 minimum wage t-shirt. The outreach began from within the city area, though to the markets, bus station and back road where in some towns included residential properties. The campaign was conducted simultaneously throughout the country and at the end of the day saw a total collection of 7,776 signatures with more signed petitions still to be collected by the FTUC.