Deputy Prime and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced yesterday that the government will mandate an up-to-20 per cent increment in the entry-level wages for cleaners. Frankly, it’s about time.
Steps like this are what labor activists have been asking for and it seems they are finally getting their wish. The 55,000 cleaners in Singapore earn an average wage of $850 per month. That’s on average, so it’s not unheard of for cleaners to earn just $600 per month.
In Singapore, no one will even bother arguing that this salary is too low to survive. So for all their talk of not having a minimum wage, it seems that the Singapore’s government has finally admitted (without saying so) that salaries in Singapore are just too low.
Yes, I agree that setting a minimum wage of S$1,000 for cleaners should be a no-brainer and that they shouldn’t have taken so long to take what should be a simple decision but hey, this is a step in the right direction. Let’s not take this decision for cleaners to be the endgame but a significant first step for the future.
Hopefully, this minimum wage policy for cleaners will be expanded to all workers in the near future.