April 2012Monthly Archives

The Right to Equal Wages

It is interesting to note that politicians in democratic countries are forever making speaches paying lip service to the idea of human rights. These human rights include freedom of speech, the right to assemby, the right to protest, the right to procreate, the right to worship any god, and the right to equality.

The last right is a wide ranging one. Equality before the law means everyone gets treated equally. And yet those with money can employ the lawyers to improve their chances of escaping punishment. Equality in terms of employment; and yet women and part time workers are paid less around the world. The issue of pay is of vital importance to the vast majority of employees who are not given salaries comparable with bankers.

The difficulty with equality in wages is that increases wages can often have detrimental effects on the economy. In the UK at the moment the minimum wage has gone over 6 pounds an hour. It sounds great but the phenomenal increase in house prices at the same time as the minimum wage was intropduced in 1999 has left those who wish to buy property no better off.

In America the issue of the minimum wage is often siude stepped by employing illegal Mexican workers. Although the right wing moan about the porous boarder with Mexico the country that first put man on the moon says it can do nothing to stop the flood of immigrants over the border. It is obvious that secretly they don’t want to.

In Thailand the country is experiencing a boom time. This has meant that the government has had to increase the minimum wage. Hotels in Thong Nai Pan, Chaweng, Karon, Sairee and all the other tourist destinations in Thailand get round the problem of higher costs by employing illegal Burmese workers. Since these workers are illegal they don’t have to pay for any social benefits. As with Mexicans in America they are often regarded as second class citizens despite being essential to the economy.

Much of equality depends on legality and justice in the economic system of a country.