Mother of five welcomes minimum wage increase

March 20, 2023

The announcement by Prime Minister Andrew Holness that the minimum wage will be increased has been well received by one day's worker in the Corporate Area, who said it will be more than enough to care for her five children and her sick mother.

Sandra*, a 45-year-old Waterhouse, St Andrew, resident earns an income solely from doing housework. She started doing it after losing her job in a factory at the onset of the pandemic.

"Me glad fi the likkle increase because weh me did a get pay before barely coulda stretch. Me have five kids and sometime me affi hide and bawl fi see how me affi care fi dem. It rough out man," Sandra told THE STAR. Last Thursday in Parliament, the prime minister announced that the minimum wage will increase from $9,000 to $13,000 per 40-hour work week starting June 1.

Sandra's children, ages five, seven, 10, 12 and 16 attend school in St Andrew and St Catherine, with the eldest making final preparations for regional examinations later this year.

"Me tek my likkle time pay because me want my kids to be better than me, yuh understand me? This increase, believe me, it ago help we out a lot," she shared.

She added that the additional sums will offset the cost of her mother's medication and purchase other household necessities. However, Sandra cautioned that there are some employers who will shortchange their workers.

"Everybody a try save and cut money weh dem can. But me a beg dem, nuh rob we up. We feel the likkle pinch in our pocket too because everything expensive. We need the money, we a hard-working people too. Just pay we the right ting and everything wi alright," she pleaded.

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