If you’re wondering why the minimum wage in Martinique is so low, read this article. It will explain Martinique’s colonial history, its economy, and more. And, you might even be surprised to learn that the average wage is much higher! Interested? Read on! Until then, happy browsing! What is the minimum wage in Martinique? And, how can it affect your pocketbook? Find out in this article.
Martinique’s low minimum wage
The low minimum wage in Martinique has been a persistent source of friction between the local and French populations. In the Caribbean nation, the majority of workers are black, descendants of slaves, and the white minority are descendants of colonizers and slave traders. Tensions between these two groups are often high, and the situation has led to numerous riots. During the recent riots, workers took to the streets to protest. Some people looted small stores, while others destroyed cars and even set fire to them.
The situation in Martinique was particularly bad in early 2010 when a referendum was held to determine whether or not to implement a new minimum wage. The status quo was a popular choice among the middle class who feared that the new policy would weaken their Gallic lifestyle. While the metropolitan government eventually settled the general labor strike, the underlying social-economic issues have not been addressed. The February 5 Collective is calling for a 300 Euro increase in the minimum wage, indexing social minima to inflation, and price controls.
In 2001, the average net wage in Martinique was 17 225 Euro, placing it sixth out of the four French overseas departments. Martinique has a highly unequal wage structure. Only a quarter of taxable households receive the national minimum wage, and civil servants are paid more than manual workers. Even the high minimum wage hasn’t been able to provide an adequate standard of living for many Martiniquans.
Its high average wage
While the average wage in Martinique is relatively high, it is not the only advantage the island has to offer. The high number of French-speaking people and low cost of living in Martinique also mean a good quality of life for the average resident. The average salary is approximately $20,000, which is considerably higher than the national average. While Martinique has a high number of expatriates, the average wage on the island is not nearly as high as those of neighboring Guadeloupe or the Dominican Republic.
While the median wage is high, unemployment is also high, with many people relying on aid from France. The state’s welfare program does not cover the cost of local food. As a result, the average wage in Martinique is not high enough to support the average citizen. This results in high levels of frustration and anger among the Matiniquan population. Luckily, Martinique is not as poor as many people may think.
While Martinique’s high average wage and progressive income tax policy are positive factors for many, the fundamentals of the French colonial era remain intact. In fact, racial stratification remains firmly entrenched and the country’s largest land and business assets are controlled by descendants of colonial plantation owners, known as bikes. These descendants account for only 1% of the population. However, official acquisition of population statistics is forbidden, and as a result, the island’s population is believed to be 95% Creoles and less than 5% whites.
It’s colonial past
While many of us have heard about Martinique’s colonial history, few have considered its role in modernizing the Caribbean region. A few decades ago, during the era of departmentalization, the island remained a French colony and was thus subject to colonial exploitation and the minimum wage. During that period, however, the island embraced a thriving economy, largely led by tourism. In the 1970s, however, the island’s white population was largely expelled.
Despite these problems, Martinique’s colonial past has been mostly preserved. The island is still highly segregated, and racial stratification has become deeply entrenched. Today, descendants of plantation owners, known as bikes, own major land and business assets and constitute approximately one-tenth of the island’s total population. Since official population statistics are not available, estimates range from 95% Creoles to less than 5% whites.
As part of the French overseas departments, Martinique was granted freedom from slavery in 1848, but the island was not aware of the progress toward emancipation. In the midst of the Monarchie de Juillet, Francois Arago, the first governor of the island, saw the need to abolish slavery and intended to adjourn the issue until he formed a final government. Victor Schoelcher intervened and abolished slavery in Martinique. Despite the initial opposition, the first decree ended the practice for two months.
The minimum wage in Martinique is EUR1,365 per month. However, the cost of food and living on the island is much higher. The welfare payment does not even come close to sustaining a minimum standard of living. This unbalanced distribution of salaries has led to a high level of frustration among Martiniquans. And the government is not doing much to change this situation. There are no concrete plans to address this problem, so the status quo is preferred.
The strike sparked social unrest, especially among the bikes, Martinique’s wealthy whites. The strike, which lasted three weeks, spurred the government to negotiate a settlement. In exchange for short-term concessions, the government agreed to reduce the prices of 400 basic products. The agreement was not a complete success, however, as the social-economic problems still persist. In the meantime, the minimum wage in Martinique and its economy continue to struggle.
In addition, there are political concerns over the economic situation. Bikes are a key part of the economy of Martinique. While they represent only 1% of the population, they control 20 percent of the key sectors of the island’s economy. In this environment, a general meeting of the main actors is expected to be held in April to address these concerns. In addition, the President of France has called for a meeting of the principal players in the economic sector.
Its trade with neighboring CARICOM states
In the Caribbean region, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a regional integration body. Its member states are small islands that have historically worked to improve trade ties with each other. CARICOM, which represents a quarter of the Caribbean’s total land mass, is one of the largest trade blocs in the world. However, some countries have been slow to embrace CARICOM’s principles.
The French Overseas Region of Martinique was formally admitted to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) as an associate member in December 2015, a move that has been widely hailed as a turning point in the region’s integration journey. The process of admission has taken three years and is likely to have substantial implications for Martinique, the OECS, and the Caribbean Community as a whole.
While the Caribbean Community is closely linked to the Caribbean Sea, the benefits of trade with CARICOM states can be enormous. While privileging sovereignty may advance the blue economy of one nation, it will diametrically oppose the goal of regional integration. A good example of this is the case of the Bahamas, which had an agreement with China on commercial fishing, which was supposed to have enormous economic benefits for the Bahamas. Yet, the deal never went ahead because of pressure from the United States. CARICOM and the US, whose interest in a particular trade deal was largely ignored.
The CARICOM is an association of developing countries that has been formalized since 2000. It was influenced by the economic crisis in some key countries such as Venezuela. This organization is a good example of how to deepen economic ties within the Caribbean. In fact, the CARICOM-EU partnership is growing in scope. But there are many challenges facing CARICOM. For instance, some members are reluctant to accept political unions. In addition, the CARICOM-EU relationship has a low degree of political will and a lack of sovereignty.
Its unemployment rate
In 2001, the unemployment rate in Martinique was nearly twenty percent. Compared with metropolitan France, it is nearly three times higher. Unemployment among young people is especially high, with nearly a quarter unemployed. Women make up the largest percentage of job seekers, making up nearly sixty percent. In contrast, men make about four times as much as women. In both countries, the rate of chronic unemployment is relatively high.
While the government responded to social unrest by passing a framework agreement on the minimum wage, the union leaders in Martinique vowed to continue the strike until a deal was reached on the price of basic goods. Although the island is legally a French territory with full citizenship and representation rights, it also has some of the highest unemployment rates in the European Union. The unrest has led to a general labor strike that lasted three weeks. While the strike ended with an agreement on a minimum wage of EUR200 a month for low-wage earners, major businesses are now agreeing to reduce prices on 400 basics by 20 percent when they reopen their stores.
Despite the fact that the island belongs to French territory, it has little influence in national politics. Its four elected Deputies and two senators are virtually powerless, with no real influence over the economic and social life of the island. In fact, there is virtually no influence from metropolitan France on the issues that affect the people of the island. So, it is essential to understand the minimum wage in Martinique and its unemployment rate before choosing a career in this country.