the livable wage

Despite our country swiftly becoming a recognized brand name in leisure tourism around the world, there is a lot we have to catch up with other countries in terms of how they treat their very own kind. Resorts or islands are not a new phenomenon. Some other countries also have white sands and small islands where tourists come. However ours and theirs difference seems to be how ‘they’ treat their own people. The employees who do all the hard work need a fairer deal then what they get now. In most other countries they have moved beyond the minimum wage, tackled the liveable-wage whilst we are still stuck at the minimum wage. There was one piece of small legislation timidly sent to Citizens’ Majlis which tried to figure out what the minimum wage should be for Maldives, which was duly killed by a Majlis member for apparently no reason (other than the fact that these concepts simply doesn’t register in their hollow shells…{forgive sentiment, we workers are entitled to be a little bit angry when our issues are trampled most unceremoniously by these MPs}). What is absurd about this situation is that our employers not at risk of imminent danger to their business by being mandated to follow or do better than a minimum wage. Nor is there a healthy business lobby in Majlis to kill workers interest except from MATI which is kind of a think-tank for the business folks. Even the situation being as it is, and the country enjoying a healthy unemployment rate, nobody seems to be worried about this. And there are reasons for their short-sightedness.
1.The govt. is too fond of playing PR for the whole world, their theme is environmental protectionism. The current government as well as the former government did the same. They all are good for PR and environmental protectionism is easy to play act. Confronting real life issues is tough and thankless and they are aware of it.
2.The parliament recently (about 2 years ago) got the freedom to set their own wages and leaves and other perks, so from then on its like the boy who got locked in a sweet shop! Why should they care when they are so much relieved from reality of life?
3.The civil service is too polarized and undecided as to where their ultimate faith shall be. For the past 30 years, they played poodles to a dictatorial regime doing only its bidding like faithful robots. They have yet to realize that they are also workers and are not any better than the rest of the crowd.

Great nations of the world arose to prominence by being generous to their own kind. In the words of Henry Ford (1863-1947, Founder of Ford Motor Company) ‎”One’s own employees ought to be one’s own best customers… Paying high wages is behind the prosperity of this country.”

So we need to set a minimum wage to workers. The average pay of workers in resorts is still around 3000rf per month. Which is barely survivable if the worker has his family in the islands. However lack of medical and educational facilities in the islands forces the workers to emigrate to Male’ which wipes out 50 to 80% of the average income of the family for rent.


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