Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

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Minimum wage is not enough to live on - ETUC

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 09-11-2017 07:30:00 · 0 Comments

The minimum wage in Portugal, despite seeming statistically high, is still "very low" in absolute terms and insufficient "for workers to live on what they earn," the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said.

Minimum wage is not enough to live on - ETUC

 

The conclusion is included in an ETUC study entitled "Mminimum Wages should not be Poverty Wages," distributed to the press by the Portuguese general workers' union, UGT.

 

According to the document, 10 of the 19 European Union (EU) countries surveyed have a national minimum wage whose value is 50% below the median salary (which is between the minimum and maximum) and all are below the national average wage.

 

In the case of Portugal, which has a minimum wage of 557 euros per month, the figure may initially appear statistically "very high," as it is 58% of the national median wage and 42% of the average wage, the trade union confederation added.

 

However, ETUC stressed that this is because the scale of wages in Portugal - as it is in Romania - is so low that "in these two countries the whole wage scale is so low that the seemingly high minimum wage level in relation to the median wage is still not enough for workers to make a living from what they earn."

 

According to the study, " 58% of a very low median wage in Portugal is still a very low minimum wage in absolute terms even though statistically it seems fairly high."

 

Both in Portugal and in Romania, the minimum wage appears to be high compared to the national average wage, resulting from "unequal wage distribution, with a high concentration of wage earners at the bottom of the wage scale," according to the document.

 

According to ETUC, the examples of the two countries show that "a European minimum wage policy needs to be complemented with measures to strengthen multi-employer collective bargaining and collective bargaining coverage in order to stabilise

and raise the whole wage structure and in order to change the unequal wage distribution."

 

The confederation noted that the common objective of the EU for minimum wages is to ensure remuneration of at least 60% of the relevant average wage.

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Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter