WESTMORELAND, Jamaica – President of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce, Moses Chybar is calling on business owners to pay more than minimum wage if they can afford to do so.
He said many business owners can afford to pay their employees more, but refuse to do so.
"Minimum wage can feed anybody?" Chybar blasted. So, I'm appealing to you my colleagues [business owners], if you can pay more than minimum wage, pay it!”
Chybar was speaking at the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce annual dinner held at Hotel Commingle in the parish, on Saturday night.
In April of this year, the government announced a 28.5 per cent increase in the national minimum wage, lifting it from $7,000 to $9,000 per 40-hour workweek.
Chybar added that the minimum wage that some business owners offer act as a deterrent to most persons who are looking to be gainfully employed.
"I guarantee you this, in my opinion, and you know this, that some people want to work but if the money that it cost them to go to work is more than the pay, ah mean unless dem lick dem head, dem not going to come," he argued.
"So when persons look at the bus fare, when they look at the lunch money and they do the maths, dem realize it cyah work out," he reasoned.
"Suh we must wake up, step up and do better," Chybar urged.
Meanwhile, Chybar said for those who cannot afford to pay more, they can initiate a staff welfare. That, he said, will allow employees to be more comfortable.
"If you walk into the supermarket and pick up a cart, that's 10 gran right there, minimum wage is about 10 gran," he argued, noting that it is not reasonable.