Changing working hours would significantly decrease national output

Dear Editor,

I wish to first of all point out that this subject of a 40 hour a week or five working days  was engaging the attention of the Guyana Trades Union Congress  for a number of years, and acting upon the urgings of that body for the enactment of the Bill, tripartite meetings were held years ago. A consensus was reached by the Ministry of Labour according to Mr Nanda Kishore Gopaul  that the implementation of the new national minimum wage of $35,000 per month will take effect from the 1st July 1, 2013. It is however regretted that the government has rushed into this arrangement as  businesses foresee  a wide  range of difficulties  in the implementation.

However, employees including domestic workers, manual workers and watchmen will benefit if the Ministry of Labour would monitor and examine the employer’s  books to see if the  minimum wages are being paid and the  40 hours  is adhered to as  fixed by law in the new legislation.

Moving vigorously on the implementation systems  doesn’t makes sense, since Guyana already enjoyed  too many  holidays. Low production is the direct cause of our poverty and changing the working hours would significantly decrease the national output of goods and services. Our economic planners must never forget the lessons of those enterprises struggling to make profits. So wouldn’t it be appropriate to consult with the business communities? This new labour legislation  change for a 40-hour week without reduction  in pay, a minimum wage law for all working people, portal-to-portal  will definitely have some serious impact on production and the business communities.

Yours faithfully,
Mohamed Khan

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