Council of Trade Unions wants national living wage, not minimum wage

union training

Attendees at the VCTU/ILO training session earlier this week. Photo: Joe Harry Karu/Facebook

The Vanuatu Council of Trade Unions together with the International Labour Organization has been running a workshop to train young activist union members in Port Vila. Teachers’ Union and VNWU workers are involved. Labour laws as well as the particular problems they might face were discussed at some length. A Labour Day petition was also presented to Minister Alfred Maoh, the document having been prepared on 1 May this year. It calls for the replacement of the national minimum wage law with one concerned with a national living wage. (Radio Vanuatu and Daily Post)

Following the accidental death of five Tongan Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers in New Zealand earlier this month, PM Charlot Salwai has said it becomes very important Vanuatu considers insurance for all workers on schemes such as the RSE scheme. There will need to be discussion with employers, PM Salwai stated, and he will also be bringing the issue up with life insurance providers. (Radio Vanuatu)

PM Charlot Salwai has handed over Vt 10 million to the Vanuatu Council of Churches. This is the first payment of an annual sum of that amount from the Government budget to the VCC to assist the member churches. Prime Minister Salwai said the payment is not intended to control the work of VCC in any way. However, Government and the churches are serving the same people and as the churches are always contributing to the development of the people, and often in areas where the government is not represented, the government must assist the churches. VCC Chairman Pastor Alan Nafuki, Vice Chairman Bishop Jean Bosco Baremes and Secretary Pastor Shem Temar expressed their gratitude to the PM. The VCC presented PM Salwai with a plaque indicating recognition of his assistance.

Deputy PM and Tourism Minister Joe Natuman observed the TokTok Vanuatu 2016 as testimony that Vanuatu has recovered from Cyclone Pam and is pushing ahead to recover lost business. Natuman is pleased to see the large number of international wholesalers participating this year and assured them of the top priority status given to tourism by Government. 58 Vanuatu tourism operators and 48 international wholesalers and media representatives attended the conference which ended last Friday. (Vila Times)

Young science graduates will benefit from an agreement signed last week between USP Emalus Campus and the British Secretary of State for the Environment. Sharing of research data and exchanges of students and staff are foreseen. (Independent)

As with the assistance New Zealand is providing to lift the standards of kava production for export, PM Salwai and Agriculture Minister Seremaia Matai were able to raise the issue of better management of beche de mer, or sea cucumber, exports with NZ professionals recently. There has never been satisfactory management of this marine resource in Vanuatu. (Radio Vanuatu)