13 September 2013

Liberia: House Wants Minimum Wage At U.S.$7.20 - Rejects Joint Committee Report

After months of debate and scrutiny of the Decent Work Bill by the 53rd national legislature, and the setting up of a joint committee by both houses on the passage of said bill, the plenary of the House of representative has unanimously rejected the committee reports on ground that the minimum wage should be set at US$7.20 per day.

The rejection of the bill followed a communication from the senate which was read informing the house on the passage of the bill and seeking its concurrence.

The plenary of the Liberian Senate recently passed into law the decent work bill base on a report given by the joint committee of both houses setting it as minimum wage of US$6 per day.

The concurrence vote was taken in Tuesday session September 10, 2013 after a comprehensive report was submitted by the Joint Committee of both houses on Labor to the Plenary of the Liberia Senate.

Before the unanimous vote was taken, several senators raised concerns that the report be opened for discussion so as to give the body the opportunity to understand other clauses and changes made in the bill.

But a motion to open the report in the plenary was denied by Senate Pro-Tempore, Gbezohngar Milton Findley on grounds that the committee acted in accordance with the mandate of the Senate's Plenary.

The Joint Committee was instituted by the Senate in July 2013 to study the significant and an effect of the bill for possible passage after it was forwarded to that body by the Lower House.

The Decent Work Bill is one of several bills that have suffered countless setbacks amidst public outcry for increase in salary and improved working environments in the country.

Despite the passage of the bill, the issue of the setting up of a Minimum Wage Board across every working sector in the country remains a sticky issue.

Both the Lower and Upper Houses passed the long awaited Decent Work without the setting up of a Minimum Wage Board significant to address salary related issues in the country.

The bill was initially passed by the Liberian Senate and sent to the Lower House for possible concurrence without setting up the Minimum Wage Board.

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