Business leader slams gov’t over minimum wage

Chamber of Commerce chairman says gov't should do more than just "copy agreements signed between labor unions and employer bodies."

Money Shekels bills 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Money Shekels bills 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Federation of of Israeli Chambers of Commerce chairman Uriel Lynn slammed the government on Sunday for putting the second stage of the minimum- wage hike on hold until October 2012.
He said the government should more than just “copy agreements signed between labor unions and employer bodies,” adding that “fixing the second hike for October 2012, in other words a period of one year and three months after the first hike, is tantamount to mockery.”
Lynn said the second wage hike should be pushed forward to April 2010.
“The government must make practical decisions with a broad view to the needs of the market and society,” he said.
The cabinet on Sunday approved raising the minimum wage to NIS 4,100 a month from the current NIS 3,890.25.
The next stage of the minimum wage, to come into effect on October 1, 2012, will see the minimum wage rise to NIS 4,300.
The wage hike is part of an agreement between the Finance Ministry, the Histadrut and the Economic Organizations Liaison Committee. It is based on a collective labor agreement signed in January.
Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon said the move would have a meaningful impact on a large segment of the population.
Including the agreements in the government legislation, he said, “provides the ministry with an enforcement tool in case employers break the law and don’t pay the minimum wage.”