Saturday, March 01, 2008

Minimum Wage

It looks like India will back off its proposed minimum wage for guest workers in Bahrain:
"New Delhi's hope to emulate its success in imposing a minimum wage for Indian maids looks doubtful after a decision to help unskilled labourers is likely to be withdrawn on Monday.

"The decision to fix a BD100 (about Dh978) minimum wage for Indian labourers signing new contracts in Bahrain was scheduled to come into force today, but has been frozen until the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry resumes work on Monday and may be withdrawn following the unexpected resistance by Bahrain's government and contractors.

"A New Delhi decision to fix a minimum wage for maids last October was accepted by Bahrainis despite some limited protests, and the success seems to have encouraged the Indian authorities to push to apply the same measure for its 230,000 unskilled workers."

Bahraini plans to begin seeking labor from other sources, such as Vietnam, a dictatorship that won't be as responsible for its citizens, was apparently a key factor behind this move. For the moment, there's still far more of an untapped labor supply in the developing world than there is a demand for it.



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