CESD, along with ILO, participated in a seminar on minimum wage on 15th September 2017 with trade union committee leaders and members of different states/regions especially Yangon, Bago, Mandalay, Shan, Kachin and Sagaing. The seminar’s purpose is to help stakeholders understand strategic data usage and data analysis in post-survey completion. The Yangon Region Minister for Labour Affairs delivered the opening remarks. The trainers included Mr. Min Zarni Lin, Deputy Director of Research at CESD and Mr. Daniel Kostzer from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
To gain an understanding of the past and current situation of the Minimum Wage, Dr. Zaw Aye Maung, Chairman – Yangon Regional Committee on Minimum Wage/ Yangon Region Minister of Rakhine Ethnic Affairs & Ministry of Labor, Population and Immigration gave an opening speech. Mr. Win Zaw, CTUM (Member of National Committee on Minimum Wage) explained the committee’s activities which included organizing the national committee and state and regional committees, conducting surveys, standardizing the minimum wage, and the eventual announcement of the law. The state and regional committee members also echoed similar reflections of their activities.
The training began with Mr. Min Zarni Linn’s presentation on minimum wage and living wage based on different states and regions. He explained concepts such as inflation, CPI (consumer price index), and export and import procedures, concluding with basic research methodology, procedures, and ethics. The participants debated and discussed the presentation, posing questions related to the requirements for changing from FOB to CMP basis and discussed the concept of a single, standardized licenses for labourers benefiting both labourers and enterprises.
Mr.Daniel Kostzer, Senior Regional Specialist on Wages at the ILO, presented on the difference between living wage and minimum wage, and the average and median wage by urban-rural area, by employment and by gender in 2015 and 2017. He elaborated on issues of CPI and CPI wage-price spirals (inflation > wage increased > higher labor cost > producers raise prices > inflation) and pointed out economic factors based on levels of productivity and its impact at the national level, enterprise level and sector level. Additionally, he discussed the requirements of economic development (export led growth, domestic market, role of investment and international competitiveness) and the desirability of attaining and maintaining a high level of employment.
The training is part of CESD’s commitment and involvement in the National Minimum Wage Committee also reflecting the organization’s mission to bring out evidence-based decision making and policy formulation for the benefit of the local communities.