#Article (Archive)

Plight of workers

Dec 20, 2011, 12:37 PM

Many people find their monthly spending rising on a daily basis.

Just go round to find out the prices of the necessities of life, and one would find out that many families are already struggling under the unfortunate pressure of rising food prices and cost of other products.

Water, electricity bills, travel fares, among others, also threaten to tip household budgets into the red.

An average family’s spending monthly for essentials is roughly D2,000. 

There are reports indicating that there are people receiving a minimum monthly salary of D650. This can hardly earn a bag of rice nowadays.

Not to talk of the income of the pensioners, which is quite modest. They are much more affected by the rising cost of living.

That being the case, many would expect employers to give a lot of thought to the matter of salary increase, to keep up with inflation.

Though we can’t say by what percentage salaries should be increased, we urge employers to consider a salary increase, as workers pay packets no longer match the rising prices of basic commodities.

Workers, who live on a fixed income are usually worse off when prices go up, especially so when they have no other source of income.

As their income falls far short of their expenditure, they tend to live by their wits, or lose interest in their work. As a result, efficiency suffers.

What most workers take home nowadays is not just enough to make ends meet.

Just imagine a family man that earns two thousand dalasis a month. If he has to spend say seven hundred on rent, three hundred on utilities, then he is left with just about one thousand.

Out of this, he has to take care of feeding and other miscellaneous expenses.

At the end of the day, the monthly salary doesn’t last even eight days.

What happens next is that he would depend on the goodwill of the grocer to tide over the rest of the month.

This is, no doubt, a miserable way to live.

Interestingly, when things continue like this way, ordinary people who are known for honesty are tempted to do unimaginable things just to get by, thus engaging in corruption.

Workers should be made to be able to pay their house rent, feed their families, take care of, if not all, but at least half of the needs of the family, so as to maintain effective and efficient performance in their various offices, as better services will yield better results.