Minimum wage clash ahead

| 04/06/2013

rivers.jpgCNS): During the campaign trail the PPM made a commitment to the electorate that it would introduce a minimum wage as a priority. Having backed the principle during the last time he was in office, the new premier, Alden McLaughlin, has stated many times since that he believes Cayman needs a minimum wage and is determined to see it introduced. However, his new minister of labour may not be quite as keen. Tara Rivers, along with her Coalition for Cayman colleagues, opposed the idea of a minimum wage on their campaign platform and it is a notable omission from the C4C’s national priorities plan, whereas the promise is printed clearly in the Progressives' manifesto.

With both Rivers and Winston Connolly, who also argued against the minimum wage during the various debates during the campaign, now working in the labour ministry, McLaughlin may encounter his first difficulty with his “inclusive” government. While all eight of his PPM colleagues have committed to the principle, with the two members of his administration both opposed to the idea now in the ministry that will be tasked to implement the party policy, the concept of working together may hit a serious bump.

Rivers was elected on a platform opposing its introduction but the PPM is committed to introducing it as an “early priority”, according to the manifesto, which may well prove to be the first serious test of how inclusive government can work when there are fundamental policy differences.

Although the Coalition for Cayman’s ‘non-manifesto’ has considerable similarities to the PPM document presented on the campaign trail, there are a number of subtle differences regarding policy approaches and it will be a test of the strength of the new Cabinet if the premier pushes ahead with the policy as promised.

McLaughlin has often expressed his regret at not being able to introduce a minimum wage after his last term in office, when he had responsibility for employment. The PPM leader often said that he had encountered considerable opposition from the Chamber of Commerce in particular and efforts to reach a compromise had failed. While McLaughlin says that he had considered going ahead regardless, as he believes that there is a level beyond which no employers should lawfully be allowed to drop pay and felt there was a genuine need for legislation to prevent the appalling low levels of pay in certain sectors.

However, while Connolly is not obligated to support any moves by the Cabinet to push the law through, Rivers is bound by collective responsibility and will be required to support the premier if he moves to fulfil the party’s campaign promise.

As the minimum wage is also supported by Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean, McLaughlin will not need the two C4C members' vote to pass the legislation, but with Rivers at the helm of the labour ministry it would be extremely awkward at best for the PPM to push through such a move without her support.

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  1. The lone haranguer says:

    We already have a minimum wage it is the wage the two adults agree to before one adult begins working for the other adult, self regulating no cost to the taxpayer, beautiful.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ask yourself one very simple question Tara, forget about all the greedy and ignorant ones of this world who would prefer to see their fellowman continue to live in squalor and slavery and starvation over forfeiting a fraction of their profit margin to improve conditions for all the people in this world. Ask yourself Tara, how you would feel to be forced to work for three dollars an hour to feed and support your family while making someone else rich and happy. Ask yourself that question Tara, and then make your decision based on the answer you get from Tara's own conscience. Those expatriates that are working in Cayman for three dollars an hour have families to support and families that they love and want to see happy and comfortable exactly as you do Tara. They are no different from you. Those Caymanians that are being forced to go unemployed because of the situation also have families that they love and want to be able to support exactly as you do Tara. They are no different from you. Blind greed and ignorance and selfishness in this world has reached unheard of , wretched, cannibalistic proportions in a time when the world is more blessed with materialism than it has been in it's entire history, Tara, and that, my dear lady, most certainly is uncalled for and most certainly brings tears to the eyes of our Almighty Father. It is time to wake up, humanity.  It is an absolute disgrace and a slap in the face of almighty God that regimes like Dart's are allowed to walk into our country with their hundreds of millions of dollars and tell us they love us with all their hearts and promply start looking for whatever means they can find to rob us of our birthright and enslave us in the sole interests of putting yet more hundreds of millions in their already overfilled pockets while the rest of the world goes hungry. This is what we call business, Cayman, this is what we are calling progress, Cayman, These are the people we insist on worshipping for their money because we have forgotten that our own money comes from Almighty God, NOT from Mr. Dart, Cayman. This is the supreme crap that we insist on soaking up in its entirety as being a way forward for our country and our people, Cayman.  I say it is bullshit of the very highest order and must come to an end once and for all eternity in our beautiful country, my beloved people.


    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN and AMEN again!!  Thanks for this post and I couldn't agree with you more.  It's time for our people to wake from their slumber and sleep before it's too late – before the only piece of ground that they stand on, the piece that is theirs now, is no longer theirs.  It's frightening what is happening but I trust in God and no man, no matter how much money they have, can fight Him and win.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, it was unfortunate for us but fortunate indeed for the "For Cayman" folks to have someone with mckeevas level of intelligence and education and mindset to dealwith. Hopefully that is now behind us as much as it will ever be and we can get on with some level of transparency and honesty and decency and right action in the running of our country. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    I pray to God that Tara will never lose sight of the fact that she was elected to use Tara's conscience to do what is right for this country and our people and NOT to support the wishes of those people in our government who she might percieve to be her colleagues. The people of Cayman got rid of people like Mike Adam and Ellio Solomon for that very same reason, Tara, and we are not above getting rid of you. Do what you were elected to do, Tara. Serve your country, not your supposed colleagues. That is all.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Once again the government makes the business owner (who for the most part is already struggling in this economic climate!) pay for their mistakes. How about THEY pay for THEIR mistakes and bring the cost of living down for everyone??????? Ask any visitor to the island what they think about it – first words out the mouth – "its very expensive"

  5. 4 Cayman says:

    Why not try and pass the retirement extension law. At least you can get a certain percentage of the unemployed back to work and off social services. This should assist the bottom line numbers immediately. Tara lets get going.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, lets raise the retirement age. too many old people sitting at home feeding and cooking and washing for the young imported lazy children or wives or husbands. The old people have nothing better to do than continue to struggle and compete for a Job. Have some pride Cayman, let people retire before they die. Is that how bad the un-employment is in Cayman that we have to suggest to get retired folks back to the work force, or are they the willing and abled persons that we hear about "unemployed"? What about the young Lazy children still at home saying "mama I hungry"? What are we doing with that 20 to 30 age group that we still calling kids and supporting them as single mothers or such. Drop the retirement age to 55, Make it mandatory for every born and bred Caymanian to have a job between the age of 20 to 40, There can be a way to enforce it and a Trade School can make it happen so no excuses from either side of the employemnt sectors. If you cant find a job due to some missing skill, we would make you have a skill or be trained to do somthing. even if that means walking around the Goverment building with a uniform telling people to get off the phone or how to stand in line. Sorry I just relized those position are not for caymanians, they cant be seen in public doing nothing and getting paid. (being very sarcastic here.) I would prefer to know my Tax $ go to the welfare of older retired folks than to this bunch of  lazy spoiled entiltled minded kids. Can we just let our old folks retire with PRIDE.

      • The lone haranguer says:

        Haa, you are obviously living off the goverment largesse, you have no idea how business operates, the business community generates all the wealth so people like you can suck of the duty and fees that we pay, shut them down and you will be eating dirt for supper.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a load of rubbish . If the owners of business would stop pretending. Take profits of no more then 20-22% per year. Then everyone who is not being paid properly will have a livable wage. But what really happens is the people who are complaining the most are making 300-400% profit and financing more and more businesses. But telling everyone OMG inflation is going to happen. Lies,lies and more lies.

    If your business is a success it will have no problems. If its not then sorry YOU failed . GET a job at minimum wage and live together with your family in treasure Island!! 

    Laws should be enforced for ins and pension companies. They can hire people to make sure that companies are paying their health ins and pension for their staff . Buy a scanner copy receipts and email , Simple

    • Anonymous says:

      Most businesses if the are making a profit are not making more that 3-5%…few will hit 10%…the rare ones above that…..What dreamland are you in?? Have you seen the govt fees, work permit fees, electrical fees, insurance rates, import duties, rents and the general cost of operating here?? 300%???  thats funny…let me know what business that is and I bet its illegal.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL I wish we were making 300-400% profit!  Maybe the BIG BOYS attain this kind of profit margin but I can tell you the small guys don't. THIS Caymanian family has eaten into every cent of past savings to keep going (and forget saving for the future). Working our ***es off 7 days a week, 14 hours a day just keep our heads above the water with two very small businesses. Think about the small guys before you make such pompous remarks. I FAILED because the businesses can't afford a bigger basic minimum wage????? No, buddy, bad government policies on a widespread basis have failed me. And actually, yes, I have gone so far as to think about selling my run down property (because I can't any longer afford all the maintenance required) and moving to Treasure Island. Would love to hear about the businesses that YOU own and run to learn all about that profit margin!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I hope that everyone will see the folly of the minimum wage. Good luck with your endeavours Tara!!

  8. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    It's very heartening to see some of the comments, especially those that support some sort of living minimum wage. I picked up a man hitchiking one time. He was from India. He hadn't seen his family in seven years. First, he had gone to Dubai to work on construction. It was revealed at that time that foreign workers had their passports taken away upon arrival. This left them with no recourse and no way to leave if their working conditions and wages were not as advertised. Many had "rent" deducted for the trailers they lived in, sometimes 20-30 in each. Their work clothes, boots, gloves, shovels, as well as their food, were also deducted. The story went on. He managed to get out, after paying off a foremen and obtained work on a freighter. Eventually ending up in the Caribbean. He wasn't sure when he would see his wife and children again. I guess my question is: what possesses people to do that? To leave their homes and families? To work at often brutal jobs for menial wages and barely livable conditions? In every instance the answer is:  to feed and house their families. Sometimes families who are far away. When this discussion, surrounding a minimum wage takes place we should not forget the simple dignity in that. Because it is a common human desire to provide for those dependent on us. There are economics, to be sure, to be considered. But when that is said and done we shouldn't overlook why many people come to Cayman. It isn't for the beaches or the bars, or to relax in the sun. They simply want to do a job, not steal a job, get paid a living salary, not a fortune. And someday see their families again. Count your blessings.

  9. "Expat" says:

    Just to illustrate the point here – in 1997 security guards were being paid $5.00 per hour, some even less. Today sixteen years later, and with the effects of hurricane Ivan impacting in between, what are most of them earning today? Ask a guard! Most still earn the same $5.00 per hour!!  No gratuities here!

    This forces far too many employees to live below the poverty line. Many foreigners will accept it, make sacrifices, send some home, where it has greater purchasing power, and not complain, but what chance do we have of getting more Caymanians to take up these jobs?

    I say take one or two sectors of the economy at a time, study the data, plan education and training and skills upgrading, and CAYMANIZE THEM! This can only be realized if there is an appropriate minimum wage law!

    Govt. also needs to wean themselves financially off the present level of work permit related revenue, making it financially feasable to CAYMANIZE in reasonable, steady bites, one industry at a time. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple ………..!!

    Food for thought Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      That greater purchasing power only applies if you are able to send a few cents home. As all costs in Cayman rise the likelihood of having anything to send home is seriously restricted. And then there is the cost of going home and/ or sustaining children overseas. Not an easy existence and one many old time Caymanians may be familiar with…

  10. Anonymous says:

    The introduction of a minimum wage needs to be accompanied by the introduction of consumer protection and price controls.

    I find it interesting that none of the people commenting on this article seem to care about the segment of our society that are not even earning a living wage and are desperately struggling to get by on a daily basis.

    The general attitude is… “once it does not affect me personally I don’t care”.

    Greed and fear mongering are at the root of the problem; but the PPM government needs to look beyond this and move ahead with the commitment that they made to the people of the Cayman Islands during their election campaign.

    • Anonymass says:

      No, the assumption is that the problmes people currently not earning a living wage are having not affording food is because they aren't being paid a living wage. By implementing a minimum wage the problem is addressed without recourse to price controls. Will getting a minimum wage right be hard? Yes. Will it solve all problems? No. Will it be better on both fronts than trying for price cotnrols? Yes. (While I like the idea price controlls are even harder to manage and have a worse track record of working than minimum wage does. Please lets not conflate the two ideas.)

      • Livingind345 says:

        While tackling minimum wage, they also need to look into some form of price control in this country.  Staples like bread, rice, flour and sugar should not be so expensive.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A minimum wage will be implemented, Tara will step down from her position as Minister of Labour, and the Premier will be able to say that he did everything possible to create an inclusive government.

    • Anon says:

      A minimum wage will be implemented. Tara will come to terms with it, continue her work and leave her mark on the Cabinet.  

      • MackB2 says:

        Not likely. She is controlled by the C4C.


        Did you notice that even after her West Bay supporters overwhelmingly recommended that she take the position that was offered to her by Alden that she still had to consult with her C4C masters before any decision could be made?


  12. Anonymous says:

    Most of the posts on this thread miss the main issue.  Themain issue is not whether there should be a minimum wage, but rather at what level will it be set.  There is no point in debating a "yes"/"no" as to a minimum wage in a vacuum without the debate being about a specific proposed wage.  A low minimum wage will have limited effect but will prevent certain employment abuse.  The inflationary effect of such a level is likely to be limited.  The higher the minimum wage goes the more the market distortion and the greater the inflationary effect.  Not only would the low paid wages go up, but those presently paid more than that will want to be paid more – the difference between wages of staff within a structure is very important.  So a low minimum wage, ie so low than most of the posters on CNS will call it a joke, would probably bring benefits to the economy.  Go any higher, even by a small amount, and knock on negative effects are very likely. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    How did these people get elected???!!! You voted for them, now pack your bags.

    • Anonymous says:

      They got elected by the majority of people who live here who were fed up with the corruption and lack of good policy by the last government.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Pull out them manifestos both of I’m c4c and ppm .. I’m keeping track

  15. Anonymous says:

    In theory, a minimum wage is probably a good idea.


    In practice it will be a huge waste of time and money in Cayman. The government will enact another law that it will not bother to enforce.


    Employers will continue to abuse and exploit their indentured slaves.

    • Anonymous says:

      How hard is it to enforrce? An employee knows when he is being shorted and has the right to report the employer. Simple as that. The labour board is very efficient at prosecuting offenders.

      • Anonymous says:

        True…..except for the cases where the dodgy employer is on the board.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a stupid comment! A lot of those people are on work permits. What do you think will happen if they go against their employer???

        I recently spoke to a guy from India. He discovered a while back that his previous employer never paid the pension that he deducted from his wages. He doesn't want to take any action cause the employer is Caymanian and he is afraid that he would a) get nowhere with the boards, b) it would potentially cost him money to pursue this and c) the Caymanian would ensure that the Indian is going to have work permit issues going forward.

        This is what happens in reality. If it would be really that simple like just going to the labour board and complaining and they would fix it without any consequence to the person putting in the complaint, then trust me, we wouldn't be having those discussions on this blog we are having now!

        If immigration and labor board would be doing their jobs and enforce what is already there, then perhaps we would have to discuss minimum wage altogether!

    • Anonymous says:

      A living wage is a better phrase to use. A wage that enables people to survive in Cayman. It should not make too much of a difference as long as this wage is set realistically it should not drive up prices. Those who pay their employees $2 an hour (you know who you are) have created this problem and should be ashamed of yourselves. 

      • Anonymous says:

        @15:58 and others who suggest a "livable wage", first what is that amount in Cayman? above so- called poverty level and that would equate to employers having to pay more on a national scale versus a national minimum hourly wage ofeven $8/hr.


        Isn't a lvable wage more subjective and hence more difficult to calculate and enforce? Can you imagine if businesses actually paid a wage that covered basic costs in Cayman, then trylu we would see great hardships on small busineses and even major ones. I would personally suggest $3500 as a livable wage. Would the businesses prefer that wage? 

        Overall, a minimum wage i snot meant to be a cure-all policy but it does show we're not a third world country, respect all workers and hopefully some busineses will consider hiring employees based on all factors not simply having to pay an extra $2-4 per hour.




  16. Anonymous says:

    The Chamber of Commerce is against this because it knows its members are simply going to mark-up the additional cost and pass it on to you and I….its not going to solve anything just make the cost of everything go up. Particularly in the tourism industry where we are desparately competing with other Caribbean countries that have cheap labour- pushes us futher out of the market place.

    On top of that, the folks who this impacts most are from overseas so all it means is that MORE money will be shipped overseas each month out of the economy, further shrinking the economy. Bad idea.

    While I do not beleive in slave labour and do think there should be say guidelines on labour rates this idea of a minimum wage, while it sounds good, is actually bad for our economy.  What is most critical on the new government is to LOWER the cost of doing business here. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    If anyone thinks that the cost of living will remain the same but folks get more money with a minimum wage is living in dreamland. The cost of living will go up, not just by the amount of the minimum wage, but it will increase by that amount PLUS a mark up. So those at the bottom of the food chain will have it even worst.

    The solution is to REDUCE the cost of living- cut fuel costs as a start.

  18. Unbelievable says:

    I currently run a businesses and pay a rate of $5 per hour my staff earn gratuities and depending on the night will walk in one business on an average of $50 per night and in the other business with $200 per night.

    Lets equate that to monthly and we open both businesses 7 days per week on average of 7 hrs per shift..

    $5 * 7 = $35 per day

    Including tips
    Job 1 = $85per shift equating to $12 per hr

    Job 2 = $235 per shift equating to $33 per hr.

    Monthly salary with days off

    Job 1 approx $1850 per month.

    Job 2 approx $5000 per month

    Not to bad an income if caymanians would want to work in the it tourist or transport industry.

    If a minimum wage is to be put in, more than what we currently pay our staff, I would have to increase our products by that percent and most likely we would loose our customers. Therefore close.

    The one problem is that caymanians don’t want to work in these industries and the ones that do, you don’t hear one complaint from them as they are making a comfortable living.

    Over the last few months I have intviewed caymanians for other businesses we have and offered a fare salary but these people have come back to me when we have made the offer (3k per month) and said in their last job they made more so they would want to be paid more… Well guess what I have incurred massive increases in cost of doing businesses in cayman over the last several years. I can’t afford to pay more so guess what if you think you are work X and won’t take Y and be unemployed I will high expats who are greatful for the work.. Oh and by the way I employ in our businesses over 95% caymanians or PRs ..

    Minimum wage will not solve the problem… Get of your ass and work for what ever you can even if you have to have two jobs…

    • Anonymous1 says:

      Obviously lack of education is not a hindrance to running a business in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree there should be a minimum wage implemented as soon as possible but structured according to the varying skills/industries.  Those employers who claim to pay gratuties at present will no longerneed to do so once a decent salary is being paid.  I believe  that most of  the objectors are employers who are only thinking of the profits they presently make and don't care about their employees.

    • Way away says:

      People like you who come here, set up a business, pay what you please, then speak to the Caymanian workforce the way you do, make me sick.
      If you have 95% Caymanian workforce then who are the 5% you are comparing us to?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry my family was here before yours I believe third family to settle on the Brac on one side and on the other maybe 50th. Oh must be an inbred them… Go get lost true caymanian business person who has worked in our family businesses from the bottom up, nothing given to us, I had to work hard and built my two businesses from the ground up to what they are today… Oh and by the way some months my staff make more than I do.

      • Anonymous says:

        How many caymanians do you hire? Forgot you work for the foreign devil who puts,food on yours families plate very night. Or I fact you are one of those caymanians who collect money from social services because you will not take a salary less than before, you want it handed to you on a silver spoon. Y the way we caymanians and expats in paying duties are paying for your food and rent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, but your business(es) are clearly not paying 'below minimum' (take home). What a minimum is aimed at are the people being pauid less than $5 per hour and not making gratuity.


      Do you believe that people in Cayman should make less than $5 per hour?

  19. AnOn says:

    Whilst I am fearful of allowing Govt to determine what I must, minimally, pay my employees, I do feel a low end amount must exist.

    Whether it is to be established as part of the immigration law, or a separate piece of legislation is up for debate. And how it will be enforced, without adding excessive costs is also questionable.

    I pay my retail clerks between. CI $7.00 and $12.00 per hour. I do not hire anyone who requires a permit, so the immigration route of controlling what my employees receive would be ineffective in my case.

    I spoke with a person who is a retail clerk in a neighboring business who earns $200 US for a 6 day week, and then must go an clean her employer’s house on Sunday. She is on a permit. I doubt that is what her employer put on the form submitted to immigration. The thing is, she will not complain, because that $200 US is still better than what she could make in her own country.

    Will having a Labour Law stating she must make $5 or $6 or $20 dollars hour help her? I doubt it, she still won’t complain if they pay her $3. But it will hurt honest businesses if they make the rate such that we are not profitable.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Please give the Chamber of Commerce a break. I believe they are on record as saying they would not object to a minimum wage of $5 per hour proposed by Ezzard back in 2011.

  21. Anonymous12 says:

    Ok so Cayman inacts a minmum wage of say $5.  So what.  The cost of basic living is so high above that minimum salary it does not matter.  The expat can feed, clothe, house and educate his family and children back home, while the Caymanian cannot hope to.

    In my opinion, all that will happen is that the word will spread that Cayman is paying more money for the same jobs and Caymanians will have to compete with more expats for those jobs.  More money will flow out of Cayman. Yes more Caymanians might be employed at the end of the day but more companies will fail.  Clearly that is not the route to take.

    I strongly endorse having certain fields as Caymanian only.  Certain retail situations only employ expats of the business owners nationality.  Why is that allowed?

    I also endorse reducing the cost of living which will have the same or better effect as a minimum wage as both employee and employer benefit.  Caymanians can then also live on a lower salary.  

    Advance agriculture/mariculture.  So many advances in agriculture and marine mariculture and Cayman has yet to see any of them.  All I seem to hear is that its not viable. The turtle farm is but one poorly executed example of the many economically viable species that can be farmed on land or water.

    Support innovation in Cayman and everyone will benefit.


    • Anonymous says:

      "I strongly endorse having certain fields as Caymanian only. "

      I agree:  make all the positions on supermarket tills, as gardeners, as cleaners, as bar staff and waiters as Caymanian only:  would solve local unemployment in a heartbeat and also maybe teach some of the locals that there is no shame in working in a serivce capacity, and that being nice to people goes a long way.

      • Anonymous says:

        No it would not solve the unemloyment problem…. What it would do is bring the economy to a standstill…Which Caymanians want to be gardeners, cleaners, and waiters???..even if you paid them $20/hr?   Hope you were just making a joke here because your post sure is funny.

      • Diogenes says:

        How exactly does that solve the problem?  In theory a Caymanian only has to turn up for that job and get it anyway.  But they don't – some say because the wage is not enough, some say because the job is too demeaning, some say beacuse the nasty employer prefers foreigners for his own reasons.  Making the job Caymanian only addresses only the last problem – it does not make a Caymanian take a job that he thought was beneath him or didnt pay enough.  How does that "teach some of the locals"  – all you will have is an unfilled vacancy.  The solution is surely a combnation of not paying people not to work, and educating them to get better employment.  

  22. Anonymous says:

    Everyone talks about minimum wages.  $3.  an hour for hotel workers is too low"

    Why do you not start looking at their pay check.  Some example.  One worker told me that with the gratuity, she makes an average of $22 per hour

    When talking with a group of 4.  I was told by one and the other three agreed  that they are making an "obsene amount of money".  They can afford a beautiful apartment, parties,etc.

    By the way, they are not Philippinos, they are Americans and Canadians and work as waiter/waitress and bar tenders.  So the $3.00 an hour is irrelevant and must be looked at as only a token part of their wages.

    • Anonymous says:

      so stop advertising in the newspapers that $25 dollar an hour jobs pay $3.50 and there might be more Caymanian investigating careers in the sector. 

    • Anonymous says:

      And how do you feel about the $3 per hour jobs in fields that don't get gratuity?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just what we need private sector salary negociation, at the political level.

    This should work wonder for the industry.  Want to see how effective the minimum wage is?  Just asked someone making minimum wage in the USA (after the cost increases).  I'm sure they will all thell you "Thank God I'm making minimum wage otherwise I just coudln;t pay my bills!" … <cough!>   No!  they are still broke and they still can't pay their bills and need a second and third job.

    The point is minimum wage is desinged to accomplish one thing.  Create a political football for politicians to try to plook like they are actually solvig something, when if fact all they are doing is damaging the private sector.

    If the solution is just as simple as imposting on the privaste sector a minimum rate to pay people, why not just make the minimum wage 20.00 or why not! 50.00 an hour, and then no one will have to worry about being able to pay their bills!  Problem solved!!

    Unfortunately the problem isn't a wage issues, the problem is a growth issue.  Cayman needs more opportunity, not inept, business neophytes self serving politcicians to dictate what an industry should pay its staff as if they had the slightest clue on how to run a business.

    The country is continually broke and we want to let these buffoons who all they can do is bankrupt every project they undertake, tell the private sector how to conduct business?? 


  24. Anonymous says:

    Give the new Government a break to sort these issues out, we all know that it matters but hell give them a break to propose something to us the people of this country.



  25. Anonymous says:

    It is very simply a crime against Almighty God to have people working in this country for three dollars an hour, regardless of who they are or where they are from. This is also the reason so many Caymanians are suffering from unemployment. Press on Mr. Premier Alden and may God bless you with the strength to do so.

  26. Anonymous says:

    ppm need to kick this red herring into touch…..set up a cross party and chamber of commerce committee to see what they come up with…. then after years of committess and reviews….nothing will be done….. but you looked like you done something…

  27. Anonymous says:

    ppm also said they would reduce the cost of living…… bringing in a tokenistic minimum wage will only increase the cost of living….

    • Anonymous says:

      This post is scaremongering prices will only increase on services which currently pay less than a livable wage. Businesses that pay fair wages will not have to increase their prices. Don’t we want to reward businesses that play by the rules?

  28. Anonymous says:

    is cayman is willing to accept a 25% increase in the cost of living so a minimum wage can be introduced???? you willing to pay 25% more for goods and services???….


    who is calling for a minimum wage.? is definitly not the people who are gladly working in these jobs….. more likely it it is the unemployed locals who think it is beneath them to take such a job…….

    • Anonymous says:



      You are mis-guided and uninformed. Show me one case in history where minimum wage caused and increase in cost of living. If youd dare to check it out you will find the opposite is true. Business instantly have more customers spending more money which increases their profits and grows their business. Cost of living is controlled by governemt taxes like duty and fuel tax. 






      • SSM345 says:

        Why will it increase the cost of living?

        Uh, I don't know but I would hazard a guess that if it costs business owners more, then the price on everything goes up perhaps?

    • Anonymous says:

      "who is calling for a minimum wage.? is definitly not the people who are gladly working in these jobs….. more likely it it is the unemployed locals who think it is beneath them to take such a job……."

      yes, and the locals are right, because they cannot survive on $5 and $6 or even $7 per hour, because unlike the low wage foreigners who live scanty whilst here workingand sending their money home which mulitiplies greatly at their home country to build their houses etc, the locals here have to build their houses here, live a decent comfortable life here, their cars, etc, how do you expect locals to live that scanty life that low wage foreigners live here, what kind of life would that be for locals?  at least the foreigners are building up their lives back home and have that light at the end of the tunnel, locals have only here.  capiche?  and furthermore, alot of the employers of the low wage foreigners abuse their workers, which they know they cannot do to locals, so that is why they only want to hire foreigners so they can abuse and bully and intimidate them, disgusting!  i say YES for minium wage and let it be no lower than $9 per hour!  even so it should be $10 per hour!! 

      • Anonymous says:

        you could learn alot from the people who live 'scanty'(?)….

        just look at the phillipinos who work in some of the low paid jobs….they can afford to  travel across the world, live clean, honestly and modestly and cause no crime while at the same time sending money home to their families……

        i think caymanians could learn alot from that lifestyle…..

        but then again caymanians are the only people i know that would rather sit at home and make $0 per hour than go out and take a basic job for $5 per hour…..

        • Anonymous says:

          Living 20 to a 2 bedroom house and sleeping in shifts? Yes, we can learn from that.

        • Anonymous says:

          10 people sleeping on top of each other on the floor.  What a bar for us to aim for.

          • Anonymous says:

            only ever seen 2 to a room in philipino properties….. sometimes 3 in jamaican places……

            bottom line is every employer on the island would take a philipino over a caymanian any day of the week…….

        • Anonymous says:

          Reality check! – Ask how many Philipinos fly home on a regular basis and ask them how many of them are still here who have been let go by their employer but can't afford to buy themselves a ticket to get home!

          The Philipinos you are talking about work as Temps or in other jobs (day care teachers etc). We are talking about the ones who work as domestic helpers, in construction etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      or perhaps locals can not work for this kind of wage AND support a family in Cayman.

      I guess they are not prepared to share a two-bedroom place with at least 4-6 other people, and get employment knowingthat likely their employer will not pay pension and proper health care insurance or they are lucky if they get paid at all…..


  29. Anonymous says:

    a minimum wage in cayman right now would solve nothing…… and would only kill off many businesses, increase unemployment and drivr up the cost of living……

  30. Koun Ting Onyou says:

    A little ignorance goes a long way. The Chamber of Commerce and a handful of MLA's are unfortunately basing their negative bias toward a minimum wage on gut feeling rather than statistical historical data which shows conclusively that implementing a liveable minimum wage or even increasing existing minimum wages results in economic growth. Not only does it help the low wage earners to survive, their new spending power is spread across the economy. Retail sales and services rise in excess of the higher costs to employers which results in greater profit. The effect is immediate and does not take years to see the positive difference. Government benefits too as this new flow of money makes its way through the economy. Additionally, the burden to government of health and welfare is lessened.

    I can't imagine that many members of the Chamber are currently paying their employees less than a decent minimum wage. If they are then they should be ashamed.  They will lose this battle but will benefit greatly when the miniimun wage is passed. Hopefully they will have the humility to admit publicly that they were misguided in their belief.

    To turbo boost the results of implimenting  a minimum wage it would also be good to eliminate all taxes on fuel and roll back Customs Duty to 20%. This would add immensley to the spending power of the public and help reduce costs to business at the same time. Job creation will begin on a massive scale. This is fact. You can come out from under your rock and research it yourself. Our elected members and organzations that represent sectors of our economy should never set policy without consulting historical fact. Doing so results in a lessening of their credibility the next time a major public policy decision comes around.

    A more realistic way to handle this would be to step back and look at our current situation. We are suffering economically here. If no change is made then nothing will change. Open yourself up to trying something that defies your logic (which landed us where we are) and see how it goes. If it proves to be a disaster then it can be reversed but to not try it at all is downright ignorant and will result in more the the current downward spiral.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Chamber is an organisation funded by companies to represent the interests of the business community. Generally Chambers do not pay wonderful salaries for exactly the same reason, so your thinking is way off…

    • Diogenes says:

      A little ignorance does indeed go a long way, as demonstrated by your comments.  I would dearly love to see the "statistical historical data" which you rely on.  It certainly wasnt available when I was getting my Masters in Economics, but perhaps the basic laws of econmics have changed since then.

      A minimum wage policy is a social policy instrument, nothing more.  It can only result in economic growth if the additional spend by those workers results in a basic increase in the supply of goods and services, or improves the productivity of the base economy (highly doubtful in Cayman's case, where the vast majority of consumption is of imported goods and services).  In the absence of that, a minimum wage will result in some reallocation of wealth, but will also be largely inflationary, particularly amongst those goods and services reliant on low wage employees.  And then you have the knock on effect on consumption due to increased wage costs – the obvious danger area being tourism and discretionary expenditure like restuarants, entertainment and food and beverage industry. 

      That has significant risks of reduced demand resulting in reduced employment, and as there would be a direct correlation between the costs increases being focused on the industries employing the low wage workers, the likely implication is a) increased costs for everyone in non discretionary expenditure, like food purchased from supermarkets and b) reduced employment in discretionary spend industries like toruism and hospitality.  Your low wage worker gets a higher notional salary, but runs the risk of being unemployed or having a large chunk of his pay rise absorbed by increases in the cost of living. 


      As for your "turbo boost" of reducing duties to provide job creation on a "massive scale" – again, the basic laws of economics apply.  Sure, it increase the private individuals money supply, but it also reduces governments income by an identical amount.  Unless the private individual spends every cent of his increased disposable income, or the additional spend encourages further production of goods and services, this is actually deflationary.  Government would have spent the lot, and given the nature of Cayman's economy, it seems unlikely that reducing import duties will actually increase the domestic production of goods and services and the expansion of the economic base (with the possible exception of consumption by tourists) .  In the meantime the immediate reduction of government spend would become very quickly and painfully apparent to those people government would have to lay off because it could no longer have the revenue to employ them. 


      Macroeconomics is a complex subject, and it does no good to claim others are ignorant or living under a rock when they disagree with views based on highly simplistic understanding of the subject. 

      • Anonymous says:

        So you're saying that your Masters degree in economics does not qualify you to make an informed opinion on minimum wage issues because it is a matter of socail policy rather than one of economic study. I propose then that economists have little or no say in the issue and are as uninformed as the rest of us as to possible outcomes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who said that the Chamber of Commerce was against minimum wage?

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Yeah!  I can agree that "a little ignorance goes a long way". Your opinion is good evidence of that fact. You mention "statistical historical data" supporting many wonderful outcomes of a minimum wage (MW) and that is all fine and good. But I have a few questions:

      What are the sources of your "statistical historical data"?

      How well do the economies involved inthose statistics correlate to the Cayman Islands?  

      In what economies did increasing existing minimum wages result in economic growth?  

      What was the net effect of the MW on the growth on inflation?  On the employment rate for school leavers? On the employment rate of lower paid workers?  On the CPI?

      You have encouraged us to "come out from under your rock and research it yourself". I have done that (it was getting a bit musty under that damn rock anyway). I can safely conclude that you have most likely based your opinion on questionable data and is therefore not relevant.

      A goodly portion of our economy is hinged on a fairly limited scope of businesses that will not benefit from the low wage earners having a few extra pennies to spend, but will be impacted by the MW. Mainstay industries, tourism and financial services, will see no increased profits as a result of  the MW; however even you must agree that our prices to the tourist will increase: a very bad thing for an already very expensive destination. Neo-classical economic modelling will certainly apply and the Cayman Islands will come out the big looser!

      You suggest that  if we implement a MW then low wager earner "spending power is spread across the economy" without giving attention to the fact that a significant portion of our economy is biased heavily towards the spending habits of those in economic strata wellabove the lowest paid workers.  (However, there is an upside the MW might introduce here. Can you tell us what it  might be?)  

      Historical data runs quite contrary to your moot.  However, I will say that the vast majority of such statistics, both pro and con, is usually derived from data involving much larger, wealth-producing economies. (This is most significant!) Most of the data is derived from economies with a work force with very low numbers of imported workers and very little capital flight in the way of foreign remittance of wages. This is not the case here and will not be for a long time (if ever);  therefore, I shall proffer that your so-called "statistical historical data" has very poor correlation to the economy and work force of the Cayman Islands.

      There is input from one economy that has somewhat fair correlation to the Cayman Islands: the Bahamas.  According to Ralph Massey, a very well respected Bahamas-based economist, the minimum wage law there is limiting employment and making it harder for unskilled high school graduates to enter the Bahamian work force. According to Massey, the Bahamas MW "…effectively acted as a disincentive for employers to hire unskilled school leavers by pricing them out of the labour market". That being the case, and unless and until compelling "statistical historical data" to the contrary is presented,  I would rather place my trust in the opinions of those with a proven fiscal track record: Ralph Massey, the successful business people of these islands, and the Chamber of Commerce.  All of them suggest that implementing a minimum wage here will be a huge blunder with very dire consequences.

      Now to dispel ignorance with a modicum of logic:  You maintain that implementation of a MW will spur economic growth, spread spending power across the economy, increase retail sales and services, and result in greater profit. Right?  And that the effect is immediate, no less. Right? 

      Earth to KTO: If it sounds too good to be true is probably is!  In a competitive capitalistic economy all successful businesses strive mightily to gain a competitive edge and increase revenues and profits. Right? To have this happen immediately is even better!   Do you not agree? This being the case, I must ask one quite obvious question: If  the net effect of increasing wages results in so many immediate and positive benefits for businesses, then is it not logical to conclude that we should not even be having this debate in the first place? If paying more in salaries is so good for business then there would be no call for a minimum wage because businesses throughout the islands would be falling all over themselves to get in on the gravy train by paying higher wages! (Nah true, Bobo?)

      OK, your turn.

      • Koun Ting Onyou says:

        You may check the folloing link to the Economics Policy Institute which analyzed the Obama MW proposal. At least read their conclusions at the end of the analysis. It confirns what I said.


        Two economic professors at Princeton University ( Dr. Krueger and Dr. Carl) studied the effect of increasing MW in the food industry in New Jersey and compared the outcome to neighboring Delaware were the wage was not increased. The result was higher employment and economic growt in Mew Jersey.. A similar study over many industries in Oregon was also done with similar results. Most of the nay sayers are basing their stance against MW on what they THINK will happen rather than examining the actual outcomes in real life situations. 


        Of course lowering our cost of living here through reduced duties and fuel taxes would spur economic expansion, there can be no doubt that without a livable MW there is no incentive for the unskilled Caymanian to seek work. If and when they fill these jobs and displace the foreign workers, money will stay here to circulate longer. Employers won't have the high cost of permit fees. Fuller employment among the lower class will result in less crime and cost to society.  There is now evidence of economic diriven crime where people resort to theft for survival for themselves and their families.


        Without getting to scholarly about it, all one has to do is look at how life was here back in the 1990s and compare it to life now. We now have Dart and Caymana Bay and all that comes from having a super wealthy developer pumping money into our economy yet we are worse off as a nation. We have thousands of condos, hotel rooms and apartments sitting empty. We have a national debt bill that we are going to have trouble repaying. Crime that is higher than ever. Unemployment at all time highs. Despite all the wealth we have attracted here we are far worse off for it. Making the rich richer is not the answer. If it was we would be fine by now. Instead things just keep getting worse. It doesn't take a geniius such as yourself to know that the wages being paid at the lower end are not sufficient to sustain life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or we could just outsource more work off island and save money if local services became too expensive.

      • Anonymous says:

        what a stupid comment! how would you outsorce construction, domestic helpers and hotel staff off Island? Those are just a few of the categories where the payscale is too often only a couple of dollars/hour……

    • SSM345 says:

      Koun Ting Onyou, I can only assume that the economy you are referring to as a success is that of "La La Land"?

      And this supposed "historical data" you refer to was researched from a Cracker Jack Box right?

  31. Dennis Smith says:

    This is the ideal situation for more understanding, debate, balance and compromise. It will be interesting to see how well they handle it. 

    CNS: The rest of this comment has been moved into viewpoints here.

  32. Anonymous says:

    If the government mandates a minimum wage it really won't matter because the law won't be enforced. So many people in the private sector right now are not getting paid the wage they were promised (if at all) when they took their jobs. And we all know people who are paying for their own work permits. The Labour Department will tell you that they don't get complaints, but all they have to do is periodically demand canceled checks from employers that will prove their employees have been properly paid. Labour doesn't have to wait for complaints.

    • Anonymous says:

      My friend this cannot be done under the present Labour Law. This antiquated Law serves relatively no purpose other than providing benefits for employees. Until we get a Government in place that STOPS depending on work permit fees as a source of key revenue, the present situation that obtains will not go away. We also need to move swiftly to an HR Authority that handles ALL aspects of employment rather than cutting the cake up. Employers AND employees deserve better labour legislation and a Law that is meaningful, thorough and enforceable. If Minister Rivers is able to bring such legislation, then she will have forever etched her name as a servant of the people, and a doer rather than a procrastinator. Let’s make it happen!!! As a major employer (over 30 employees with 53% being Caymanian), I look forward to and will embrace this positive change.

    • Anonymous says:

      If everyone is serious about this, Caymanians need to put pressure on their fellow Caymanians who continue to pay these ridiculously low wages and who do not provide the benefit for their employees as set out in the law.

      Also, those Caymanians who are fronting for other business owners or who are "partners" of businesses need to be held responsible.

      I also suggest that going forward, Government does some serious investigation on those companies they are contracting for various services (cleaning, construction, security etc) to make sure that those companies are actually following the rules and laws and have morales and ethics.


  33. Anonymous says:

    The immediate solution is easy – and has long been staring Governments in the face.

    Section 44 of the Immigration Law REQUIRES the immigration boards (if they are actually doing their jobs and acting in a lawful manner) to be "satisfied as to the adequacy of the income of any work permit holder".

    It requires no change of Law for Immigration to simply deny a work permit on the basis that the salary of a foreign helper must be at least CI$5.00 and hour, a Rooms Attendant CI$6.00 an hour, a Waiter CI$8.00 an hour, a Dive Master CI$9.00 and Hour and even a Qualified Accountant CI$4,000 a month – or whatever that industry says is appropriate.

    Immediately problem solved. Expats will not be abused and Caymanians will be assured job opportunities at at least a living  wage.

    A simple policy direction from Cabinet would fix it by tomorrow. There is no need to over-complicate this issue. Even the Chamber of Commerce would likely cooperate and provide agreed minimums per role and industry.

    Immigration DO YOUR JOB!





    • Anonymous says:

      You really have no clue, do you? Do you really think the boards have not tried to enforce this?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummmm, since they keep granting permits to persons in positions adverytised as $3.50 an hour, I know they have not. 

      • Anonymouse says:

        Since they have absolute power to deny work permits, and continue to grant them for positions advertised at $3.50 an hour, and to companies who pay no health insurance, and to companies who steal pension monies, etc. then I assume it is you that has no idea.   

      • Anonymous says:

        I suppose you are going to say corrupt politicians called the Boards and prevented them from following the Law? That is called the Nuremburg defence (and it is not a very good one).

      • Anonymous says:

        They don’t have to try. Just enforce. There is no reason for them not to succeed.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you increase costs to business then the cost of their services must increase…simple as that.

      • Anonymous says:



        Implementing minimum wage creates more spending which grows the economy. Instead of using your gut, use your brain and do some research.

      • Anonymous says:

        or business owners must be less greedy and understand their profit margin wont' be always what they have in mind

        problem I see here is that a lot of people want to own businesses but then want someone else running it for them, rather than putting their own work into it……..

    • Anonymous says:

      All well and good, but I know of employers who have lied on their permit applications and have also made their employees pay for their work permits and health insurance and otherwise abused their employees financially.  The employees don't say anything as they believe they will be forced to leave the island if they complain.  Unless the government has a way to audit payroll of employees, low wage employees will continue to be exploited by the unscrupulous.  

    • noname says:

      i propose a minum wage of $15.00 PH !!! The cost of living is too high, me can't feed my kids let alone take them for holiday. Employers need a real kick up the *** so they can start paying a god wage to CAYMANIANS !!!!

      • SSM345 says:

        14:59, you do realise that if the minimum wage was put at $15hr, that a gallon of milk would probably cost somewhere around $12, gas would be $10 gallon, and EVERY other product imported would probably double in price.

        So how would it be any different from your current situation?

        Wait, I just realised, you assume that because the minimum wage is increased, everything else stays the same right?

        Are you people still drinking that Kool-aid?

    • noname says:

      The problem is that some employers lie on their work permit applications, and without the ability to audit company payrolls, goverment isn't going to catch anyone breaking the law. I know of two individuals who worked for two different unscrupulous employers.  Both were made to pay for their work permits in cash and one even had to pay the employer in cash for all of their health insurance and pension, even though it became apparent that the pension funds were never deposited for the benefit of the employee.  The second employee was forced to kick back $50 each week in cash to his employer and was threatened with cancellation of his work permit if he didn't.  These extortion tactics are impossible to trace or prove, so how is the poor lowly laborer supposed to complain?  They don't because they know they'll just be tossed off of the island by immigration or the employer if they do.  Fortunatly for these two, they were eventually hired by honest law-abiding employers.  

    • Chris says:

      While I agree that govt and immigration need to do their jobs, taking the time to set minimum wages for expats is only addressing a portion of the problem and is a bass ackwards approach. 

      We need to stop skirting around this issue and solve it head on. We need to set the right policy for Caymanians in Cayman, not just focus on setting the policy for expats in Cayman which will somehow by extension help Caymanians.

      Addressing section 44 of the immigration law may satisfy the Immigration Board but it does nothing to stop a Caymanian working for less than that prescribed salary.

      Cayman must define the minimum living wage for all workers but the basis used must centre around Caymanians and expenses faced by those living here.

      If not, we may arrive right back where we started by assuming that paying someone $4.00 per hour is ok because after all they only buy a bit of rice and vegetables and share a small rental apartment with 4 others and all of their other expenses are denominated in another currency in another country which can be satisfied by that low salary level.

      Lets get real and grow  the seeds to solve this…….the elected govt cant afford to kick this can down the road any longer!


  34. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Don't understand this a minimum wage is just that… a minimum standard which should be paid in order for an employee to survive in order to purchase basic neccessities.  Most countries have this legislation unless they are in the Third World, or involved in sweat shops.  Of course, it is understandable the Chamber of Commerce, representing businesses, would not be agreeable.  But that does not make it right or just.  Any of those opposing this would be well advised to walk their talk and attempt to live on a wage for just a month. One which is considered to be below minimum. Any takers Ms. Rivers.

    • SSM345 says:

      Introducing a minimum wage would cause business to increase their costs / prices, so there would not be any difference in people on minimum wage being able to survive in this country.

      If business has to pay their staff more, it will cost more to do business. Simple really.

      So you are back to square one.

      Another poster compared it to a bandage approach (our Governments solution to everything), which they are correct in putting forth.

      The real issue lies with the Immigration Department and unscrupulous employers, coupled with the other "band aid" constantly used by our Government (to get them out the hole) of increasing duties when they are short for cash.

      • Anonymous says:

        SSM345 while what you are saying makes perfect sense, we have somehow claimed to be a christian country and there are many companies out there that are paying people slave wages. But as you say a minimum wage will just backfire.

        So what do you do?

        Its the same situation with increasing taxes to do business the owners of the companies just pass it on to the cosumers.

        But it is right to try to do something to make sure that workers are not paid so low.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please stop comparing countries 'subjective' standards by Cold War alliances.  Switzerland was a third world country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dreadlock, if the minimum wage was introduced at say $10 by August this year, what do think the outcome would be?

      1) Cost of everything increases.
      2) Caymanians will take a cashier or other minimum wage job.
      3) Nothing changes in terms of minimum wage earners being able to survive.

      The situation will remain the same.

      • Anonymous says:

        If minimum wage goes to $10 (I currently pay minimum 6 up to 9.50 in a fast food environtment) my customers will not step up and pay for my increased costs. So I will close. Sending 6 folks home and firing my 8 caymanian employees.

        • Dennis Smith says:

          You say that you pay $6 – $9.50 per hour. Let assume an average of $8, so your increase for 14 employees is $28 per hour. If your fast food business nedds 14 employee you should have enough turnover to cover the increase cost. If not let some go and expect better from the ones that you are now paying more to. Don't forget your competition also has slightly higher wage costs as well so if your prices need to increase so will theirs. If your business can't pay the cost of business maybe you should close. What happened when CUC went up or the duty on your products? How is your salary? Everything goes up except your workers. Sounds like slavery to me.

        • Anonymous says:

          The minimum wage is unlikely to be higher than $5.00/hr. That is about the going rate, or slightly above, for domestic helpers.  

        • Anonymouse says:

          Who said CI$10.00? I frankly do not think any sensible minimum wage would affect you, other than possibly increase your customers (people earning CI$3.00 an hour cannot afford burgers except on their birthday once a year, if they are lucky.  

        • Anonymous1 says:

          What if a minimum wage was introduced at $5? You are already paying $6 so it would not affect you the least bit.


          What it would mean is that other employers who are paying Filipinos, Cubans, Jamaicans, Hondurans, etc $3.50 per hour would have to pay them $5 per hour or send them home.


          There is a minimum amount that is required for acceptable living standards in any country. In Cuba a doctor lives reasonably well on US$30 per month. Quite naturally a lot of Cubans would like to come here and earn $3.50 per hour and live 10 or 12 to a room for a few years so they could save more money than a doctor back home after six years of college and ten more years of training.


          The question is do we want a minimum liveable wage for all, or do we want to ignore a certain sector of society (an all the ills that come with it) so that we can afford to pay someone to clean our houses, cars, yards, and serve us cheap junk food?

        • Anonymous says:

          Except $10 is not minimum. Do you pay them less than Ezzard’s (self-admitted unresearched debate-beginer) $5 per hour. If so, let me know your store so I don’t go there and support you.

          Minimum wage is just that, minimum. It’s also as much a moral argument – not abusing staff and importing poverty – as it is economic.

          It works everywhere else, what makes Cayman’s businesses unable to thrive without exploiting your workers.?

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem I see is what constitues a minimum basic standard.  You can't use a simple formula without taking into consideration the range and diversity of worker in Cayman.  There is already comment that what might not be a living wage here could equate to a generous salary in their home country.  At the moment each worker is able to balance that equation and figure out if it is in their interests to stay here and earn x dollars, presumably if the equation doesn't work they leave and are either replaced by someone it does work for, or failing that, forces the employer to compete at a higher level for staff.

      The other issue must be that if a business has a fixed income, limited by what they can charge their customer base, and their employment costs rise, to survive they must reduce the costs some other way, perhaps reducing the number of staff they employ, or taking less profit from the business (if they are making one).

      If a minimum wage was established I would bet good money that domestics are excluded somehow, if not how can you employ a domestic and pay them the same wage that you are potentially earning yourself? 

      I can see a well intentioned standard trapping low earners into being required to pay the helper as much as they might be earning, this would affect a disproportionate number of low earning Caymanian employees and perhaps hurting more than they help. It could help the work permit holders unless they lose that job or have their hours cut, after all money isn't created from nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      As I know of late, the Great USA is still struggling to bring such a law to the USA. Obama is still not sure how to handle it. Just take the example of what the previous Goverment did, they paid about ci$10.00 for persons to stand on the roadside to do nothing. "how many caymanians does it take to pick up a tree leaf from the side of the road?" 5. One to supervise, one to hold the stick, one to hold the bag, one to turn away when traffic past, need one to sit on the side on break, and the tree leaf is still there. (how many did we count.?) point being , at ci$10 for doing nothing, do you think those same persons will work in a normal cashier Job or a fast food restaurant? Reality of what minimum wage can be set. example ci$4.00. Sounds unfair,? just do the math and take a reality check. Not a lot of caymanians are working for ci$8 to ci$10 range of salary. Anytime you have a person that will tell you they would prefer to stay home to do nothing than to do a honest days work to feed the family, then they just dont want to work. I dare anyone to prove the fact that cayman has a labor abuse issue that is wide spread. What about the other side, employees promise and submit such nice resumes, then once started and getting the salary they wanted, end up being a drag and a waste? As usual the only salaries that would be hard to regulate would be for helpers, live in or live out. and even in those cases, im not sure there is space of abuse, except abuse of the children while the employer is out working or away from the home. It is good to start the debates about minimum wages, best to have a look at all sides, maybe then we would make some progress. So continue the debate.

  35. Libertarian says:

    Cayman has two options with this law:  Either you implement a minimum wage, or you create an economy where there is ease of doing business and more job-options for workers. My take is a minimum wage would be just a mere bandaid to cover-up an economy that has little competition, not enough job-options for unskilled workers, and high cost of government fees and duties on businesses.

    My advice is to fix the job-market. Don't implement a minimum wage that will only add more government regulation on employers and will cause the employers to raise the cost of goods and services on customers. Now is not the time for this law when the economy has so much austere measures, and enough job-options can solve this problem.

  36. Anonymous says:

    This is just the start. How about roll over for a real clash?

    PPM said take it out, doesn't work. C4C said it stays. Tara has put herself in a very unconfortable position unless she has been wiser than we know and has negotiated on these points before.


  37. Anonymous says:

    Guess who has the most votes in cabinet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Guess what….Cabinet does not vote ! They agree policy by consensus and is then bound by collective responsibility.