ironic that the first people to put up their hands, moan and complain loudly
about the apparent shortage of workers are from the accommodation sector of the
tourism industry – the very sector that pays our workers minimum rates but
charge very top dollar for their rooms and services.
don’t they pay our people more, because they can well afford to when tourism is
happening here? What would be much fairer to our people is a minimum rate of
between $10 to $15 rather than the basic $8 an hour. Pay people what they’re
worth rather than the rate set by government on the urging of the Chamber of
Comics, uh sorry…Commerce.
we are hearing lots of talk about the need to bring in lots of foreign workers
being uttered by businesses that are owned by absentee foreigners. You don’t
hear the locally owned businesses whining and wanting more and more foreigners
coming in. It has become clear that these businesses with overseas owners would
have no qualms about flooding our country with foreign workers just so they can
keep paying the minimum rate. That minimum $8 rate just isn’t enough for local
workers to support their family. That’s why our own people work two or three
jobs in order to make ends meet. And continuing leaving our country.
must be cheaper in the long run to pay our people a decent rate instead of
spending on importing workers, paying for annual work permits, returning them
for holiday and the eventual repatriation. If we paid our people $15 an hour,
you’d probably find more would return to work here and more would choose to
country is being determined by the tourism industry players in the
accommodation sector. The most vocal at complaining and demanding represent
businesses whose owners don’t even live in the Cook Islands and have no
intention of ever calling this place home. This is a place for them to make the
most money at the least possible expense. So of course the consequence of our
own leaving our country for better pay overseas is not something that moves
them to act in a way that would prevent that outward flow i.e. pay better
wages. Instead, they opt for the easiest solution for their business; bring in
more foreign workers and pay them minimum wage – and in the end, this isn’t the
best long-term solution for our depleting population.