|Government intends to implement minimum wage in 2010|
The government plans to introduce a legal minimum wage in Cape Verde before the end of this year, according to an announcement made by Prime Minister José Maria Neves following a meeting in which labor union federation UNTC-CS’s general secretary Júlio Ascensão Silva presented the premier with a study the organization carried out on the issue.
According to José Maria Neves, the introduction of a national minimum wage in Cape Verde is nearly a given, considering the fact that there is wide national consensus regarding the idea. “The unions, a large number of business owners and all political parties agree that there should be a minimum wage in Cape Verde,” affirmed the Prime Minister.
The government will now proceed with dialogue with labor unions, employers and political parties in order to establish the amounts and way in which the minimum wage will be implemented in the country. Neves affirmed, however, that “it is already a given that we will have a set minimum wage this year in Cape Verde.”
The study was presented by the UNTC-CS to the Prime Minister, who considered it a major contribution toward the conclusion of the dossier, given that it is “a reasonable and very well-balanced proposal.” As such, “what we have to do is continue to make analyses, hold discussions with businesses, other unions and governmental institutions in order to make the best possible decision,” said Neves.
The UNTC-CS study proposes a minimum reference value of 16,000 escudos, and includes a distinct minimum wage for domestic workers and retail workers, taking into account the reality of the two sectors.
Pension Fund to manage INPS investments
José Maria Neves also announced the creation of a fund to manage the pensions and all investments made by the National Social Security Institute (INPS). The idea was also welcomed by UNTC-CS general secretary Júlio Silva.
The measure is aimed at responding to the need for a more coordinated management of both pensions and any investments the INPS may come to make, with the participation of all of the entities that make up the Social Coordination Council.
The management of the fund, according to the Prime Minister, will be autonomous, and will allow for evaluation “on the part of the government, unions and employers.” The measure is intended to respond to the demands of labor unions and businesses regarding the need to more closely follow the management of pension funds. “Channels must be created” for this accompaniment to occur, “as the INPS’s funds belong to everyone.”
Neves believes that this method will avoid “rumors,” such as those regarding the INPS’s investments in the shareholder structure of electricity and water utility Electra, which he considers to be “an excellent investment.”